Feb 01, 2017 PERF Monthly Newsletter – January 2017
Here is a roundup of the articles, news & updates that we've published on the PERF blog site during the past month. Click on the "Read More" link at the bottom of each excerpt to read the full article.
6 Stress Management Techniques for COPD Sufferers
As if it wasn’t enough that you have COPD, here’s another thing to deal with: an extra level of stress. Yes, everyone deals with stress, but COPD patients run a three-fold risk, compared to the general population, of developing generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Why? Because COPD can cause breathlessness, fatigue, or the development of a lung infection, and even without these events, the “regular” symptoms of COPD can flare up at any time. It only stands to reason that anxiety will rise with the prospect of any or all of these events hanging over your head.
Here are six stress management techniques that specifically address the effects of stress on the COPD patient:
Starting An Exercise Program
Hearing the suggestion, or advice, to start exercising is enough to make anyone groan with dread. When, in addition, you have trouble breathing it may seem like an impossibility. We know how difficult exercising is for you, but everyone should exercise. If you have respiratory disease, you must exercise. More about that later. In this article by Mary Burns, RN, BS and PERF Executive Vice President, she takes first things first to get you started.
Number one on your to-do list is making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your wish to start a low-level exercise program, and to make sure it is safe. Ideally, your physician will refer you to a pulmonary rehabilitation program. It is much easier to get started on your new exercise regime with professional help and support. Suppose you live in an area without any pulmonary rehab. Does that mean all is lost? No! It’s harder but you can do it on your own. We will now take you down that road to success, step by step.
Now There’s An App For COPD Assessment
There’s an app for the iPhone (but unfortunately not yet available for Android users) that puts the written-form COPD Foundation card directly into your phone. Called the COPD Pocket Consultant Guide app, it contains both the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and mMRC calculators, and has functions for input of spirometry and COPD flare-ups, allowing for full patient assessment following current COPD guideline recommendations. This combination of features employs the “best evidence” approach to COPD care, helping to ensure that the proper medications are utilized in the patient’s treatment. The app offers additional resource material on COPD, links to ATS guidelines, an article on calculators, and more.
Occupational Air Quality and Lung Health
“In cases of adult asthma, if you forget that killer question… ‘What do you do for a job?’ then you are probably placing that patient at a significant disadvantage… You have to be sat in front of a health care professional who actually appreciates that the workplace can harm you.” So says Professor David Fishwick of the University of Sheffield in “Healthy Lungs for Life – Occupational air quality and lung health,” a video by the European Respiratory Society. Professor Guy Brusselle of Ghent University Hospital points out that we spend 1/3 of our lives in the workplace; therefore, we have to breathe healthy air on the job in order to maintain optimal lung function and prevent the development of occupational lung diseases.
In this interesting video, several patients, academicians, and medical professionals discuss the phenomenon of sensitization
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