Many individuals may disregard a simple cough, a mild wheeze, or intermittent chest pain, but it’s essential to pay attention to even these seemingly little symptoms. Although some breathing problems are a natural part of becoming older, they can sometimes signify a more serious underlying medical condition.
Lung illnesses such as asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), emphysema, pulmonary edema, and chronic bronchitis are characterized by breathing issues. More than 16.4 million Americans, according to the American Lung Association, have received a diagnosis of COPD, but many more could be living with the condition undiagnosed.
If you have someone in your family with breathing problems and you want to do your best to help them, then this is the right text for you, because below we have provided you with everything you need to know.
Maintain a Personal Health Journal
You will be capable of quickly giving accurate and up-to-date information on your loved one’s state to all members of their medical team by keeping track of personal health data. The following details should be noted each day between you and your family member as a habit:
- breathing patterns (comfortable, difficult, coughing, gasping, chest tightness)
- prescriptions (names, dosage, times, as well as any negative side effects and advancements in symptoms)
- changes in digestion and diet
- quality and quantity of sleep
- heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation (establishing baseline data will help you spot any abrupt changes in your loved one’s condition. It’s simple to rent or buy the equipment needed to monitor vital signs)
- exercise and physically demanding activities, and how each impacts breathing.
Consistent notes on your loved one’s symptoms, therapies, and activities assist medical practitioners in identifying significant trends that can affect care coordination.
Getting a Respiratory Care
A treatment method known as respiratory care works to reduce symptoms and improve breathing function. Supplemental oxygen, bronchodilators, steroids, or other anti-inflammatories may be used as part of respiratory therapy.
Respiratory therapy helps speed up recovery from acute illnesses such as respiratory infections, breathing problems brought on by allergies, and influenza. To speed up recovery and help patients return to their regular activities, respiratory care can be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment. Respiratory issues may significantly impact the quality of life for your loved one. Respiratory distress might make it difficult to go outside or even complete ordinary household tasks. The comfort you require to start regaining some of your everyday functions is provided through respiratory treatment.
Suggestions to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Help your loved one maintain their room tidy, but refrain from using anything with strong fragrances like candles, air fresheners, or cleaning supplies.
The amount of dust, pet dander, and mold spores they are exposed to can be reduced with regular cleaning and dusting. To minimize the number of irritating particles released back into the air during cleaning, it is advisable to use a vacuum with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. Reduce the use of cloth curtains, carpets, flooring, throw pillows and other home furnishings that might harbor allergens.
Verify that there are no wet or consistently damp locations in the house that could encourage the formation of mold or mildew. Bathrooms, basements, air conditioning systems, and refrigerator drip pans are typical trouble spots.
Tips to Improve Sleep Quality with Lung Disease
Decreased lung capacity can easily disrupt routine tasks like sleep. Many lung disease sufferers find that lying entirely flat makes breathing more challenging. To breathe more easily at night, they could begin to sleep in their favorite recliner or raise themselves with pillows, but these conditions usually don’t promote restful sleep. Long-term, a hospital bed or adjustable bed foundation or frame would be a preferable choice. Another risk that might have an even greater negative impact on someone with lung illness is sleep apnea. A sleep study may be necessary if you have reason to believe a loved one has sleep apnea.
Take Care of Yourself to Avoid Burnout
Last but not least, it is crucial to keep in mind that offering high-quality care to someone who has a lung illness can be a lengthy procedure. To assist you in moderating expectations if you’re feeling overburdened, find out as much as you can about your loved one’s condition. Consult your physician about your alternatives for stress management and respite care. Support groups can also put you in touch with a network of sympathetic people who are going through similar things and can offer you advice and experience.
Take good care of your loved one with these tips, but don’t neglect yourself either!