Regular treatment and a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, a balanced diet and use of breathing techniques, can help you manage COPD by controling symptoms and slowing the development of further damage to your lungs¹.
Recognizing the triggers for flare-ups and learning how to avoid them is also helpful². For example, mucus-filled air passages can make it more difficult to breathe but you can reduce mucus build-up by using a humidifier and drinking plenty of water. Avoid lung irritants, such as air pollution or chemical fumes by staying indoors on days when the air quality is poor. This can minimize the risk of worsening symptoms and flare-ups. Many flare-ups are linked to infection so reduce your chance of catching a cold or the flu by washing your hands frequently, avoiding large crowds during the winter season and making sure you have your scheduled flu, pneumonia and pertussis vaccines³.
Preparing and following an action plan can help you live as normal a life as possible⁴ by managing COPD. It is also important to stick to the plan even if your breathing feels OK. Seeing your doctor regularly means that they can monitor your lung function and recognize immediately if a change of medication is required³.