Tips to Keep Your Lungs Healthy
Whether you have a chronic respiratory condition or not supporting your lung health is vital — especially amid the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Our team at Advance ER offers tips on how to keep your lungs healthy and prevent infection:
1. Control Existing Conditions
Many patients with chronic conditions like asthma or COPD require daily medication to control their symptoms. If you take a prescription or use a nebulizer or inhaler, remember to consistently use your medication as instructed.
Remember to see your doctor regularly to manage your symptoms and limit lifestyle habits that may aggravate your symptoms such as smoking. Patients with preexisting conditions are more likely to develop worse symptoms if they contract a viral respiratory infection such as the seasonal flu or COVID-19.
2. Get Vaccinated
As we mentioned above, patients with existing respiratory and chronic lung conditions are more likely to experience severe illness if they test positive for COVID-19. Getting your annual flu shot as well as your COVID-19 vaccine is essential to prevent the risk of contracting these viruses.
3. Limit Your Exposure
Especially as we head into flu season, keeping up with your own personal health protocols will help to prevent the spread of disease. A few health reminders to prevent infection within your lungs:
- Social distance in crowded public locations.
- Wear your mask indoors as recommended.
- Stay up to date on changing health guidelines.
- Wash your hands often with hot water and soap.
4. Perform Breathing Exercises
Whether you want to strengthen your lungs or repair your lung capacity, breathing exercises are a great way to support your lung health.
There are two main types of breathing that can help improve your lung capacity:
According to the COPD Foundation, you should do the following to practice diaphragmatic breathing:
- Relax your shoulders.
- Sit back or lie down.
- Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest.
- Inhale through your nose for two seconds, feeling the air move into your abdomen and feeling your stomach move out.
- Breathe out for two seconds through pursed lips while pressing on your abdomen.
To practice the pursed-lips breathing technique:
To practice pursed-lip breathing:
- Inhale slowly through your nostrils.
- Purse your lips, as if you were blowing a bubble.
- Breathe out as slowly as possible through pursed lips — taking at least twice as long as it did to breathe in.
5. Know When to Seek Treatment
Having trouble breathing or developing a new side effect can be a sign of a serious medication emergency — from an extreme case of COVID-19 to a heart attack.
If you or a loved one has trouble breathing, call 911 and clearly explain the situation to the dispatcher. From there, our emergency care professionals at Advance ER provide specialized treatment for patients with breathing difficulties in Dallas.