One of the most common questions we hear COPD patients ask is, “how can I clear my airways when they get congested?” As a COPD patient, you’re likely to experience coughing fits that are brought on by the buildup of mucus and sputum in the airways and lungs. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you feel like you can’t clear them in order to catch a breath of fresh air. This is far more common than you might expect and it can be a frustrating and sometimes even scary experience.
Supplemental oxygen therapy, or simply oxygen therapy, is a treatment that has been around since the late 1800s. It was primarily used to treat the symptoms of pneumonia, but doctors were uncertain how much to administer, how long to keep patients on oxygen, and if there were any serious side-effects. It wasn’t until the late 1900s that there was a significant amount of research on the use of medical oxygen and doctors became more aware of how to use it.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to define two different types of lung disease: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The former is a condition that impairs the bronchioles, the airway tubes that lead into the lungs. The latter affects the tiny air sacs in the lungs called the alveoli. These are responsible for the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the bloodstream. Both chronic bronchitis and emphysema are called “obstructive” diseases because they make it more difficult for the patient to expel air from the lungs, thus leading to a buildup of CO2 in the blood.
Pneumonia is a somewhat common and potentially serious type of lung infection that, on average, causes more than a quarter of a million hospitalizations and about 50,000 deaths in the US every year. Anyone can get pneumonia, but it's significantly more dangerous for older adults and people with chronic lung diseases like COPD.
2020 has been a difficult year for people all over the world. From learning how to deal with the health-related and economic impact of the novel coronavirus to planning for natural disasters, it’s easy to feel like everything is crashing down around us. The latest concern in this lineup of unexpected events is the wildfires that are spreading across much of the country.
In order to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet, it’s essential to consume a wide variety of nutrients. Most of these nutrients can be found in the food that we eat, but occasionally it’s advised that you take dietary supplements in order to boost your intake of certain vitamins and minerals.