Copd Prevention

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an obstruction of the lungs that is caused by a chronic condition, such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. Unlike many other diseases, COPD is usually preventable.

Reducing COPD Risk

There are many steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting COPD, including:

  • Anyone with chronic lung conditions should receive vaccinations against influenza as well as pneumonia.
  • As far as the best prevention of COPD is concerned, experts assert that the best way to prevent COPD is to never smoke or to quit smoking if you smoke.
  • It has been shown that something as small as a mild cold can trigger a flare-up of bronchitis symptoms. Therefore, you should wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face during the cold and flu season.
  • One contributor to COPD is occupational hazards. Certain chemical fumes and even dust can contribute to COPD. If you work in an environment that exposes you to dangerous fumes or dust, talk to your supervisor about reducing your exposure to such dangers. Wear face masks if necessary.
  • Those with chronic bronchitis should avoid contact with anyone who has symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection.

Ways to Quit Smoking to Prevent COPD

If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do to prevent COPD is to stop smoking. Of course, nicotine is quite addictive, and a longtime smoker may find it difficult to quit.

Those who wish to quit need to understand that there is not only the physical but also the psychological aspect to nicotine addiction. There are many therapies that can help you resist both. Those who wish to prevent COPD by quitting smoking should consult their doctors. He will be able to recommend a method that is most suitable to your needs and lifestyle.

Here are a few methods people use to quit smoking:

  • Acupuncture: Some have used acupuncture as a tool for quitting smoking, but there is no scientific proof that acupuncture can help people with nicotine addictions. In acupuncture, thin needles are inserted into pressure points on the body to help tame a nicotine addiction.
  • Cold Laser Therapy: Cold laser therapy works like acupuncture but uses lasers instead of needles. The lasers are used to balance the body’s energy to relieve the addiction. Like acupuncture, there is little scientific backing to prove this smoking cessation method.
  • Hypnosis: Some people have used hypnosis to help them quit smoking. While research has determined that hypnosis may provide some benefit to those looking to quit smoking, researchers warn that it isn’t beneficial for everyone.
  • Nicotine-Replacement Therapy: Also known as NRT, nicotine-replacement therapy occurs when a person gets nicotine through supplements, such as gum, patches, sprays, inhalers or lozenges without the other harmful chemicals that are found in of tobacco. NRTs help relieve some of the physical symptoms of addiction so you can concentrate on overcoming the psychological aspect of quitting.
  • Support Network of Family and Friends: Someone who is trying to quit smoking can join a support group. Studies have shown that having people to whom you are accountable makes you more willing to take on a new responsibility.
  • Telephone Counseling: There are many states that offer free telephone-based smoking prevention hotlines. One such hotline is the American Cancer Society’s Quitline tobacco cessation program, which links callers with trained counselors. Research shows that those who participate in telephone counseling are twice as likely to quit compared to those who go it alone. To find a prevention hotline in your area, contact your doctor or the American Cancer Society.

Resources

American Cancer Society, Inc. (2006). Guide to Quit Smoking. Retrieved July 29, 2007, from the American Cancer Society Web site: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_10_13X_Guide_for_Quitting_Smoking.asp.

Health A-Z (2005). Prevention – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Retrieved July 29, 2007, from the Everyday Health Web site: http://www.everydayhealth.com/PublicSite/index.aspx?puid=3DA46228-905A-47BB-BB1C-A8478D57422B