Community Feedback: Tips for Showering with COPD.

Community Feedback: Tips for Showering with COPD

Last updated: June 2023

COPD brings with it many challenges, one in particular is the increased difficulty of everyday tasks. When your breathing is labored and you often feel exhausted, so many daily tasks become especially challenging – especially showering.

There are many of you in the community who used to enjoy long, steaming-hot showers to relieve the stress of the day, but now, showering can be a stressor in itself! But you are not alone – showering is a common challenge among the COPD community, so we asked all of you: “What tips or strategies do you have for showering with COPD?”

Below are just some of the over 80 comments you all shared:

Terry cloth towel-robe – Saves lots of energy!

  • I use a terry toweling robe after showering, one with a hood – you don’t have to dry yourself and there’s no extra towel to hold up.
  • I use the robe instead of towel drying to save energy
  • I rarely dry myself with a towel – I usually just put on my terry cloth robe or drip dry. I just don’t have the energy to use a towel

Handheld shower head and a chair

  • I sit on a shower chair and use a hand-held shower head. Then I just take it slow.
  • The shower chair makes it much easier. I also had a handheld shower head installed with a hanger for it so it doesn't hit me in the face but rather at shoulder level.
  • I have a chair in my shower and a hand held shower wand. It helps a lot.
  • I have the chair, the handheld head, the oxygen – it’s better, but I still struggle

 Crack the door and leave the curtain open

  • I don't have a fan, so I leave the door cracked open 4 inches to let steam out. Works great! I start with curtain closed and open it a crack if too steamy.
  • I leave the shower door open a little bit and even the bathroom door open too
  • I let the shower curtain open a little to breathe – it seems to help me

Lower the heat

  • I keep the water as cool as I can handle
  • I used to take steaming hot showers. Now they are just warm and it's not so bad
  • I use luke warm water so the humidity doesn’t cause a flare-up
  • I never thought I’d be taking cold showers by choice, but I do now

Wash my hair in the sink

  • Washing my hair in the shower is way too much work. I do it in the sink every other day
  • I wash my hair in the sink, if at all
  • I stopped washing my hair in the shower. I do it in the kitchen sink where I have the cabinet to lean on. Takes a lot less energy

How about you? Do you have any other clever tricks or approaches for easing the burden of showering? Feel free to share in our comment section, or on our Forums page to keep the conversation going!

And a huge thanks to all of you who shared your experiences!

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