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.
Many people assume that the longer they live, the less capable they are of improving various aspects of their lives. For example, some people take for granted that you can’t learn a musical instrument as an adult. These people are often told throughout their lives by their parents or friends that if you want to learn something complex, you have to start when you’re younger. It’s also assumed that you’ll stop progressing very early on in your life.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the diseases with the greatest financial burdens worldwide and within the United States. Studies have shown that the average annual COPD-related expenditure is around $4,147. And while 51% of these costs are covered by Medicare according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that still leaves roughly $2,000 a year that COPD patients need to spend out-of-pocket. Combine this with the cost of aging and limited retirement funds and it’s not hard to see why COPD is such a major financial burden for so many people.
Most people don’t put a lot of thought into the way that they get around. As humans, we learn to walk from a very young age and we use our basic motor skills all the time. So, for most people, it’s difficult to imagine being in a situation where these basic functions are impaired. However, for someone with COPD, problems with mobility, balance, and coordination can be a daily struggle. Healthy, functioning lungs are essential for physical exertion, no matter how little it may be.