November 17, 2017
Chances are high that you know someone with COPD. More than 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and it is estimated that millions more have the disease without realizing it. The sooner people understand and recognize COPD, the earlier they can receive help to improve their quality of life. Start by learning signs and symptoms of COPD, such as shortness of breath, chronic coughing and wheezing. Knowing the signs and symptoms is crucial as they come on slowly and worsen over time, which can delay diagnosis. Often, people mistake their breathing issues as a part of aging or a consequence of being out of shape. Talk to a health care provider if you are experiencing these symptoms.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Awareness month is the perfect time for individuals to be mindful of their breathing and practice exercises to reduce stress and improve lung function. “Breathing exercises may help improve COPD effects, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, improve sleep and lower stress,” says Ellen Alberts, Respiratory Therapist at Rusk County Memorial Hospital.
Breathing exercises to try:
For more information on our Respiratory Therapist, Ellen Alberts, click here.