Basic Lifestyle Changes To Improve The Quality Of Life Of COPD Patients

Living with COPD is often difficult for patients, especially if the symptoms continue to worsen and they cannot understand why. If dyspnea (shortness of breath) is increasing and the cough is becoming worse or more frequent, some lifestyle changes could help to relieve the symptoms and improve the quality of life of patients.

Take Medications Regularly

Being non-compliant and not adhering to the treatment plan recommended for them could have a direct impact on the quality of life of patients with COPD. Though COPD is incurable, it is definitely treatable with the help of regular treatments and medications.

Proper treatment could help to control the symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening. Hence, patients with COPD are advised to follow their treatment plan and visit their doctor regularly to prevent or slow down the progress of the condition.

Doctors can attend our Online Respiratory Disease & Care Webinars to know the latest treatment options for patients with COPD. Attending these seminars will provide them with all the information they need to manage their patients in a more efficient manner.

Regular Exercises

If you are spending most of the time sitting working on your computerand watching television, it is the time to get up and start moving. Exercises can provide many benefits, including weight loss, better sleep quality, higher self-esteem, and improved quality of life.

It has been found that the continuous high-intensity training could work the best for improving the respiratory health of patients with COPD. However, for patients who can not sustain high-intensity exercises due to symptoms like breathlessness, interval training would be considered safer as well as effective for improving the quality of life.

Interval training refers to the exercise program in which the intensity of the workout is slowly increased to around 90% to 95% of the maximum heart rate for a few minutes and then, slowed down to a more relaxed heart rate for several minutes.

Avoid Junk Foods

Eating junk foods or a diet filled with ready or packaged meals or processed foods would negatively affect the symptoms of COPD. Junk foods contain loads of calories and unhealthy fats that could lead to weight gain. Being overweight would make breathing more difficult, especially in patients with COPD.

Simple dietary changes could make a huge difference to the quality of life of these patients. It has been found that increasing the consumption of fruits could reduce the risk of mortality linked to COPD over a 20-year period.

By contrast, eating junk foods or cured meats that are high in nitrates is linked to the rapid progress of COPD and faster worsening of the symptoms. You can learn more about the impact of dietary changes on the quality of life of patients with COPD by attending our AARC Approved Live Respiratory CEUs.

Quit Smoking

If you suffer from COPD, the most essential thing you need to do for your health is to stop smoking. Not only would smoking make COPD progress at a faster rate, but it may also lead to other illnesses linked to smoking such as hypertension, heart diseases, stroke, and cancer.

If you want to quit smoking, you may have to use some aids that can help, such as the nicotine patches or oral medications.

It has been found that smoking cessation in patients with severe COPD could significantly increase the survival rate and enhance the quality of daily living.

Adopt Good Hygienic Practices

The two most common causes of the exacerbation of COPD include air pollution and lung infections. However, in a large number of cases, the exact cause of the exacerbation can notbe detected.

The acute exacerbations are sometimes linked to poor hygienic practices that involve the exposure to infection-causing germs, allergens, or irritants. Hence, to lower the risk of COPD exacerbations, make sure you wash your hands frequently and get the vaccinations recommended to you by your healthcare physician.

COPD exacerbations may also lead to hospitalization and even death, making it essential to prevent or at least identify when an episode may occur.

Avoid COPD Triggers

A trigger could be anything a patient is exposed to that makes his or her COPD symptoms worse. However, it should be noted that not everyone reacts to the triggers the same way.

Triggers could be found indoors as well as outdoors. Once you have identified the specific triggers that worsen your symptoms of COPD, you need to adopt measures to avoid them to protect yourself from severe exacerbations.

Use Oxygen

Most patients are able to avoid the severe symptoms of COPD by followinga long-term oxygen therapy. However, a large number of COPD patients do not prefer to use oxygen theory as they feel embarrassed to be seen with the oxygen tank and nasal cannula in public. This might lead to social isolation and even depression, thus lowering your self-confidence and general well-being. This marks the need to choose oxygen therapy, when recommended.

Oxygen therapy can provide several benefits, such as improving sleep, mental alertness, and moods. Using oxygen for 12 to 15 hours a day has also been found to increase the survival rate of COPD patients.

Improve Air Quality

Improving the indoor air quality at home is important for patients with chronic illnesses like COPD. Patients can consider installing air purifiers at home.

It has been found that HEPA filters have a higher efficiency for blocking and eliminating dust, germs, and other harmful particles from the indoor air. The use of HEPA filters could improve the indoor air quality and ensure the air the patients breathe is clean and safe.


Doctors and other healthcare professionals can attend online respiratory therapy webinars to learn the most effective ways to improve the quality of life of patients with COPD. This will help them suggest the most effective treatments to their patients to improve the outcomes and slow down the progress of this condition.