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?
Important points you should know about
Chronic Lung Diseases

Diagnosis: What is the Name of your Lung Disease? Ask your Doctor.

Long Term Medicines: Some Medicines you need to use on a regular basis for a long time. Stopping them without the Doctor’s advice can worsen your health condition.

Short Term Medicines: Some Medicines are for a short time (may be 1 or 2 weeks). Using them for a long time without advice of the Doctor can cause complications.

Learn proper technique of using the Medicines: Your Doctor may advise medicines some of which may have to be inhaled. They may be aerosol inhalers (to be used with a spacer device), dry powder capsules or sometimes solutions to be used with a Nebuliser. Make sure these devices are explained to you properly and you are able to understand the correct use. Good medicines used in a wrong way do not make you better.

Recognise Infections: Persons with Chronic Lung Disease have low defense systems in their lungs. They can get more frequent infections compared to others. You can recognize the infection at an early stage yourself. Watch for fever, headache, body pains, feeling tired, increase in cough, yellow sputum and increase in breathing problem. Keep a course of Antibiotic (as per Doctor’s advice) ready, and start using it even before you visit the Doctor.

Precautions: Some general precautions are essential: avoiding crowded and dusty areas, avoiding sitting in an open and cold areas for a long time. Avoiding chemicals like mosquito repellents, cigarette smoke Etc.

Food: Have Nutritious and balanced Food. There are no forbidden foods, as long as they are consumed in moderation. All vegetables, green leafy vegetables, all fruits, all pulses (Dal), jowar, wheat, Eggs, Chicken, Fish are good for you. Minimise consuming Rice, Sugar and Oil. Plenty of Milk, fresh curds are good for you. Drink plenty of water (at least 9 glasses per day).

Vaccines: All persons who have chronic Lung Disease, Diabetes, Heart disease, Kidney disease, Smokers should get the following 2 vaccinations done.

  • Pneumococcal Vaccine: prevents pneumonia due to pneumococcus bacteria (commonest bacteria to infect lung). To be taken once in 5 years. Dose: 0.5 CC, ready to use prefilled syringe, Intramuscular (deltoid muscle).
  • Influenza Vaccine: Prevents common types of FLU. To be taken every year. Dose: 0.5 CC, ready to use prefilled syringe, Intramuscular (deltoid muscle).

Exercise: is very important. Medicines can only control the disease, but cannot give you good health. Good Health comes from good life style. An important part of good life style is Exercise. Any Exercise is good. Walking is the simplest and easiest of all exercises. Walk as much as you can. It can be as little as 15 minutes a day. It will be best if you can walk for 45 minutes a day. Walk at your own pace (and stop in between if you are breathless). Make sure you are walking on an even surface and avoid accidental falls.

Oxygen: The air that we breathe has 21% oxygen. Some persons with Chronic Lung Disease may need another 4 to 8% extra Oxygen. Your Doctor will decide if you need Oxygen. Remember Oxygen is like a drug. Ask your Doctor how much to use and how long to use. Oxygen can be used at home with a portable machine called Oxygen Concentrator which runs on electricity. These machines are available for about Rs.45, 000. They are also available on rent.

Strong Bones: Persons with Chronic Lung Disease are prone for fractures. Avoid accidental falls at home (especially in the bath rooms, staircase, and slippery floors). To make bones stronger, you need Calcium (milk), Vit D (sunlight), and Exercise (walking). Some people may need extra Calcium and extra Vit D. Ask your Doctor.

Smoking: In fact Smoking is responsible in a majority of Chronic Lung Disease. Stop smoking immediately. Smoking will not help you to get better.

Travel: Always carry enough supplies of your medicines for the duration of your travel and holiday. Make sure you are vaccinated. Make sure you are not skipping your medicines. if you are using Oxygen, make sure the Oxygen machine comes with you. If you are travelling by a long flight, inform your Doctor to know if you are fit to travel.

Important Tests: Your Doctor will ask for a few tests during your visits to know the status of your Lung Problem. Some of them are i) X Ray of Chest ii) Spirometry (Lung Function Test), iii) Pulse Oxymetry iv) DLCO (to know how much oxygen is crossing into the lungs, v) Six Minute Walk test (to know your lung’s Exercise tolerance, vi) CT scan of Chest (needed occasionally).

Your Next Appointment: Never miss to consult your Doctor at regular intervals. You may need a change in medication. Newer drugs may have come into market. You may need some tests. Doctor may delete some unwanted medicines and add a few essential medicines.

Vaccines: You must get vaccinated, if you are above 55 years, diabetic, smoker, or diagnosed to have COPD, Heart, Kidney or liver disease. There are 2 important vaccines.

  • Pneumococcal Vaccine: This protects against a bacteria called Pneumococcus, which is a common cause of pneumonia. Dose: Single injection (0.5ml) given intramuscularly. Protection lasts for 5 years.
  • Influenza Vaccine: Which protects against bacteria called H.lnfluenza. The protection lasts for about 6—12 months Dose: Single injection given intramuscularly.

Diet: Use plenty of dal, vegetables, green leafy vegetables, drink about 12 glasses water/day, all seasonal fruits are good.(Diabetics can have papaya, sweet lime;( mosambi/bathai) and apple). Avoid chilled food and drinks. Avoid oily and spicy food. Non vegetarians can have skinned chicken, egg white, and fish. Avoid red meat.

Constipation: Regular habit of visiting the toilet, diet with high fibre content (fruits like apple, sweet lime, leaf vegetables and vegetables like brinjal, ladies finger (bhendi) plenty of water helps to relieve constipation. You may also swallow 15 ml of Lactulose solution at night, (available in the medical shop as “Duphalac” of Solvay Pharma India.

Exercise: Physical Exercise is good. Walk as much as you can. [Walk as briskly as you can for 45 minutes, if you have breathing difficulty you can walk for 5-10 minutes]

Strong Bones: Age above 45 (especially for women) and different diseases diabetes, COPD, make the bones brittle and prone for fractures. A glass of milk, plenty of sunlight, and calcium tablets advised by your doctor will help prevent Osteoporosis.

Knee Pain: Knee Exercises are better than medicines for your Knee pain. Consult a Physiotherapist for knee exercises

Stop Smoking, if you are a smoker. Tobacco smoke can destroy the whole family.

For any Emergency: Don’t Panic. Don't waste time trying to contact the doctor on cell phone. Please rush to the Casualty of nearest hospital.

Please keep in touch with your regular family doctor / physician for clarifications and advice.