5/2/2012Perhaps you have lived with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for a long time; maybe you were just diagnosed. Either way, you know that this diagnosis requires a change in how you live your life. The American Lung Association describes how to deal with the physical changes and emotional issues you may face as life continues.
John L. Keefe
John L. Keefe
Here are some pointers and advice for living with COPD:
- First and foremost, do not smoke. This is so easy to say and so difficult for many long-time smokers to do. There are many products, classes and support groups to help you quit, but ultimately you will have to make the decision for yourself. And when you do, you will have taken a big step towards slowing the progress of your disease.
- Avoid situations that aggravate your condition. Dust and fumes can cause COPD to become worse, so it is a good idea to stay indoors in a clean environment on bad days. You can find out online or on the local news when the air quality and pollution levels are going to be bad and try to plan your schedule accordingly.
- Eat well. As with any illness, a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables boosts your overall metabolism and provides good nutrition for your body’s cellular structure.
- Avoid exposure to sick people. Try not to be around others who have colds or the flu. Be sure to wash your hands often to avoid contamination when out and about.
- Get a flu shot. Most doctors want their COPD patients to stay up-to-date on flu shots. You may also be advised to get a pneumonia shot.
- Stay active. Exercise is an important part of breathing more easily and helping you to get and stay strong. And never forget that exercise can improve your mood, help you sleep better, control your weight and give you a feeling of control over your life.
- Take care of your mental health as well. COPD can cause the sufferer to feel upset, hopeless and helpless. But just about every community offers regular support groups that really do make a difference. And, if you feel you need it, counseling can prove to be invaluable.
- Be sure you are financially able to live a normal life. The Social Security Administration disability program is designed for people like you.
At Keefe Disability Law, we can help you get started applying for disability in Massachusetts, even if you have had the disease for a long time. Just give us a call toll free today at 888-904-6847 and let us help you live with COPD.
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