What is Asthma?
Chronic Lung Disease
Important points on Chronic Lung Diseases
Program for tired Lungs
Are your lungs fit for air travel?
Do you Snore?
Change your lifestyle when you have
Chronic Lung Disease

When you have a chronic lung disease like COPD or ILD, you may find it difficult to even perform routine daily activities like walking, bathing, shaving, combing your hair and putting on your dress. But there are few ways you can conserve your energy and perform these essential activities and yet not get tired.

Allot More Time: People with chronic lung disease usually take more time to perform any activity (like taking a bath, getting dressed, eating and combing hair etc). To remain on par with other family members and not to lag behind, you must give more time to each task. Normally if taking a bath needs 15 minutes, you need to allot 30 minutes.

Bathing: Fix grab bars (metal handles) fixed onto the walls of the bathroom near the shower area and near the toilet area. They should be at waist level. Make sure the floor is not slippery and the floor is lined with rough antiskid tiles. Sit down on a plastic stool or a chair and take bath. Use a shower gel or liquid soap which is easy to apply. Use a hand held shower rather than a bucket and mug. Use a brush with a long handle to clean your back and feet. You can ask for help for applying shampoo to your head. Do not lock or bolt the bathroom door. Use lukewarm water and not hot water. Switch on the exhaust fan. After bathing do not use a towel, instead use bathrobe made of turkey towel cloth and drape it around your body. if you are on regular home oxygen, you can use it even inside the bathroom.

Brushing Your Teeth: Sit down on a stool or a chair. You can use an electric tooth brush, which saves effort. Get the wash basin fixed at a lower level, so that you can place both your elbows on the sink while brushing.

Shaving: Sit down on a stool or a chair in front of a mirror fixed at a lower (waist level). Use an electric shaver.

Dressing: Keep all your clothes in an easy to reach cupboard. Keep your dresses in sets ( pant+shirt+underwear+banian etc ). Sit down on a stool or a chair while dressing. Avoid T shirts, and prefer shirts with buttons in front which are easy to put on. For pants, have elastic waist bands rather than buttons and belts. You may slip in the underwear inside the pant and wear them in one go (you will save energy). Dress lower half of body first, when you have more energy. Women can avoid wearing a sari, as it demands lot of energy. Salwar Kameez with front buttons is preferable. At home a night gown with front buttons can be used. Avoid tight fitting clothing. Avoid socks with tight elastic band. Use slip on footwear rather than shoes.

Combing Your Hair: Keep your hair short, by having a haircut once in 3 weeks or so. Short hair can be groomed easily without much effort. Avoid aerosolized perfumes, deodorants, strong scents which can sometimes make breathing more difficult.

Telephone: Keep a mobile (cell) phone close to you always. Make sure the phone is charged at regular fixed intervals. Keep the charger always at the same place. Keep the phone in silent mode before you get into the bathroom and before you plan to take a nap.

Walking: is essential for all those who have chronic lung disease such as COPD or lLD. One important thing that needs to be kept in mind while walking is safety. People with chronic lung disease, especially those who are using corticosteroids are prone for Fractures as a result of Osteoporosis. Walk on familiar path, and keep an eye for uneven ground. Use a tripod or a walking stick. You may use a portable buggy operated Oxygen concentrator if you are on regular home oxygen.

Keep a Rolling Cart with Wheels: A cart with wheels, the kind, you see in super bazaars is useful to carry several things at a time from one room to another room, such as clothes, books, medicines. You can avoid making several trips for the same work.

Your Regular Things: The things that you use frequently daily (such as a pen, cell phone, remote control, snacks, biscuits, keys, chargers, cash etc.) may be kept on a shelf which is at waist height and always below shoulder height. Raising the hands above the shoulders increases breathlessness.

Keep Duplicates of Items used Frequently: To avoid unnecessary shuttling, you may keep essential items like drinking water, cash, keys, chappals in duplicates. In fact even the medicines, inhalers important telephone numbers (laminated) plastic dust bins used daily can be kept in two places ( eg. bed room and dining room).

Breathing: Stay calm always. Pace your activity, do not rush. Breathe gently and evenly. Take more time to breathe Out. if you feel Short of breath, stop the activity you were doing. One good way of quickly overcoming the feeling of 'breathlessness' or air hunger is to perform "Pursed lip breathing", where you will breathe out with gentle force keeping your lips in a pursed state, as if you are trying to blow out a candle kept one foot away.

Maintain a Good Posture: Stand erect. Stretch yourself as if your hair is being pulled by a crane upwards. Do not bend down or lift weights, if required it is better to pull, push or slide things.

Relax: Set apart time slots to relax in a comfortable chair, feet elevated, shoulders and elbows resting. Focus on your breathing which should be even and gentle. When you relax, you spend less energy.

Shopping: Prepare a shopping list. Shop on a week day in the afternoon, when crowds are less. Use a shopping cart to put your items. Take a friend or a neighbour with you on these shopping expeditions. Take help from the store keeper to transfer your goods into your vehicle.

Prioritizing Activities: Think again if that visit to a party is important. Look carefully at every activity and avoid if possible. Do not crowd your engagement calendar. Give importance to those activities which are important and pleasurable.

Sunlight: Exposure to sunlight around 10 o'clock in the morning is good for you. Sunlight activates your brain, removes depression; helps absorb calcium and strengthen your bones. You may sit or walk for 10 minutes in the sunlight, at least 4 times a week.