Living With Emphysema
Emphysema is a chronic lung condition that results from irreversible damage to the lung tissue. The first symptoms of emphysema may be shortness of breath, wheezing or crackling sounds when breathing and loss of stamina when working or exercising. Emphysema is not contagious but there is no cure.
Try to limit any exposure to irritating chemicals or fumes at home and at work. Many aerosol cleaning and cosmetic products may cause irritation and should be replaced with less irritating formulations.
Dry air or air that is very cold can exacerbate the symptoms of emphysema. In cold weather, use a mask or a scarf across your face to warm the air you breathe. If dry air is a problem, use a humidifier to solve the problem. Anything that you do to make it easier to breathe will help with emphysema.
Maintain Your Lung Capacity
If you are overweight that places more of a strain on your lungs. Begin to replace unhealthy items in your diet with healthier choices. Take advantage of the bounty of fruits and vegetables available year round in the supermarket. Learn new recipes that feature whole grains, low-fat protein and fresh produce. Cut down on empty calories.
Begin a program of moderate exercise tailored to your present condition. The goal would be to exercise for 30 minutes per day at least five days a week. If all you can manage is 5 minutes of walking, then do that as many times a day as you can and gradually build up your strength and stamina.
Use abdominal breathing until it becomes a habit. Breathe in through your nose for a count of four and feel your stomach rise. Exhale to a count of eight. If your chest rises when you breathe you are not getting air into your entire lung area.
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