Spring Travel is Around the Corner!

Traveling during the icy and snowy winter can make anyone want to hibernate, and getting out of the house is even more difficult for individuals living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Over 11 million Americans live with COPD, a lung disease which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and makes it more difficult to breathe over time.  And while there’s no cure for COPD, much can be done to treat and help manage the disease so that individuals and their families can live full and active lives.

With warmer weather on the horizon, we have tips for those with COPD to shake those feelings of cabin fever and “spring” outside with confidence!

  • Check the Air Quality Index. COPD symptoms can be aggravated by poor air quality.  Before you head out the door, check the Air Quality Index which tracks smog and particle pollution, including tiny particles from ash, vehicle exhaust, soil dust, pollen and more.
  • Pack Portable Oxygen. For individuals who do not get enough oxygen naturally, supplemental oxygen can have several benefits including increased mental alertness and stamina.  There are several portable oxygen concentrators that allow those living with COPD to easily leave home and enjoy recreational activities and travel.
  • Practice Breathing Exercises. Living with a chronic lung disease like COPD can make you feel like you are always trying to catch your breath.  Before hitting the road, practice deep-breathing techniques, like Belly Breathing and Pursed Lip, to relax your airways and resume a normal breath.
  • Organize Medications. When traveling or going out for a full day, remember to keep all medications in a bag that is accessible, and keep copies of prescriptions for medications just in case.  Setting an alarm can also be beneficial to help remember when to take medication.
  • Take a Practice Trip. Better Breathers Clubs are in-person support groups for individuals living with chronic lung diseases, including COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer.  Take a few trial trips by joining a group, and then inviting other members out for coffee afterwards or a walk around the park.  Having a social support system can be the kick-start to getting back into a healthy and active routine.

For more information about COPD, and tips on how to better manage care, visit Lung.org/copd or call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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