Breathing long-term

Life can bring many challenges and coping with a long-term illness can seem to affect every part of your life. Managing and self-management is the key to improving your well-being and coping with flare-ups and challenges.

Oxygen therapy is one major part to this and understanding the treatment and how it works will help you. Many people will feel some anxiety towards using medical oxygen long-term. We all need oxygen as this is our ‘fuel’ and if there is a lack of oxygen in the blood oxygen therapy is needed to keep the body functioning.
If there is a chronic lack of oxygen this can lead to fatigue, problems with memory and concentration or swelling of the legs amongst other complications.
Medical oxygen helps to keep your organs functioning sufficiently and maintain blood oxygen levels to what is needed for you to maintain a normal life.
Oxygen therapy is beneficial long-term, some may need it for 15 hours a day or whilst sleeping but you will feel the effects long-term to help you feel less tired, more movement even with exercising and better sleep.
ref: image by majamer

Can oxygen therapy prevent dementia???


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the collective term for a group of lung conditions that cause long term breathing difficulties. It is a common condition affecting mainly middle-aged or older adults who smoke, with symptoms including breathlessness and a chesty ‘smokers’ cough. Individuals with COPD are at higher risk of dementia – one current theory suggests that this is due to lower brain oxygen levels as a result of problems with blood supply from blood vessels in the brain. In line with this theory, some studies have reported that giving COPD patients additional oxygen reduced their risk of developing dementia. However, until now, the mechanisms underlying this positive effect had not been fully investigated.
The research team found that blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain was significantly increased during reading. This was due to blood vessels in the brain becoming dilated in response to the greater oxygen demand when the brain was active. It can thus be concluded that when COPD patients receive additional oxygen it improves the function of blood vessels in their brain.
This study showed that providing extra oxygen improves the function of blood vessels in the brain by matching blood supply to the demands of the brain activity. However, COPD patients typically use this extra oxygen therapy throughout the day and for long periods of time, potentially years. This study does not indicate the influence of long term oxygen therapy on the function of blood vessels in the brain. Despite these potential limitations, this work has set the foundation for the researchers to investigate the biological systems that control oxygen delivery to the brain.
references: http://www.physoc.org/

Getting 'high' on air…

Even the healthiest person would find it difficult to breathe during the warm and very damp weather in the summer season. The patients ailing with a chronic lung disease such as COPD or pulmonary fibrosis have to be very careful. Surprisingly COPD is more common in women than men. Literally, 37% of women are more likely to have COPD than men.
Good nutrition means healthy eating. You need good nutrition to make your body stronger. You should eat a variety of foods every day. When you have COPD, preparing food and eating large meals may lead to shortness of breath. Here are some ways to help prevent shortness of breath.
Eat 6 small meals each day, instead of 3 large meals. 

Chewing and digesting food uses up oxygen. When you eat a small meal, you use up less oxygen than when you eat a large meal. In addition, a large meal fills your stomach. A full stomach presses on your diaphragm. The diaphragm is the main muscle we use to breathe. When your stomach presses on your diaphragm, it is harder for you to breathe.
Eat slowly, and breathe evenly
Avoid gas-forming foods like:

  • All beans (except green beans)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Melons
  • Onions
  • Raw apples
  • Turnips

Your doctor will prescribe the type of oxygen device, the flow rate, and how and when to use it. When traveling OxygenWorldwide can supply in over 120 countries and take any stress out of the arranging of your oxygen supply.
 
ref: http://www.upmc.com

The sun could help to treat asthma

The summer has finally started to rear its head and for many people who suffer from respiratory disease the summer months can potentially worsen their condition. An increase in air pollution, pollen, dust and other allergens can irritate the lungs and worsen breathing. The general advice is to stay indoors at peak pollen or air pollution times. However on the flip-side of this advice is that exposure to the sun may actually be good for you, especially asthma sufferers.
autumn-sun
A study by King’s College London has found that the Vitamin D that the sun provides may have a calming impact with asthma sufferers as Vitamin D helps to lower an asthmatic’s over-active part of their immune system.
Many asthmatics have high levels of Interleukin-17, which causes part of their immune system to be over-active and contributes to their respiratory reactions to allergens and is part of the cause of some asthma attacks. Some asthmatic sufferers do not respond to steroid treatment and find difficulty in managing their symptoms. This group of asthmatics tends to have very high levels of Interleukin-17.
Researchers have found that if Vitamin D levels are increased then this lowers the levels of Interleukin-17 and helps to calm down the immune system leading to a lessening of symptoms.
“We know people with high levels of vitamin D are better able to control their asthma – that connection is quite striking,” said researcher Prof Catherine Hawrylowicz.
The sun is an easy natural source of Vitamin D (the body can make Vitamin D in the presence of sunshine) rather than taking synthetic supplements so the more you are out in the sun, the more Vitamin D your body will get and the happier your immune system.
Many asthma sufferers also have concerns about the side effects of their medications so if Vitamin D is shown to improve their condition then many may have to rely less on medication and can improve their quality of life.
Researchers have suggested that covering up too much and using too much sun cream has actually contributed to increased asthma rates. Obviously too much sun is bad for you and you should ensure that you protect your skin to avoid sunburn and potential skin cancers.
So there needs to be a balance of going outside and increasing your levels of Vitamin D versus avoiding high pollen counts and sunburn.
Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the summer despite your condition:
•    Check the Air Quality Index: Avoid peak times or areas with poor air quality.
•    Always Take Your Medication:  Whether this is ant-histamines, inhalers, steroids or supplemental oxygen.
•    Check the Pollen Count: Try to avoid going out at times where pollen is particularly high.
•    Use Air Conditioning Instead of Opening Windows: Open windows will just allow more pollen and allergens into your home or the car.
•    Wash regularly: Washing your hair and clothes regularly gets rid of any allergens that may have settled on you.
•    Talk to your doctor for advice.
References:      http://www.healthoxygen.com and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health

Sun rays and COPD living in the summer

Summer is on its way and this means we are exposed to a lot more summer related allergies and with COPD even though there are multiple contributors to COPD such as tobacco smoke, occupational dusts, chemicals and air pollution, vitamin D and sun deficiencies may also play a role.  Research has demonstrated that the severity of the disease is correlated directly to levels of vitamin D, and other research demonstrates that severe disturbed lung and peripheral muscle functions are more pronounced in COPD patients with vitamin D deficiency. In addition, recent research shows that cardiopulmonary exercise capacity is increased remarkably in people with high vitamin D levels compared to those with low levels. Of course, 90% of vitamin D blood levels are produced by sun exposure.
One may intelligently conclude, based on this information, that a part of the cause for both diseases is a lack of sun-derived vitamin D.
 
ref: http://sunlightinstitute.org/does-does-sun-exposure-have-an-influence-on-copd/

Does your crying make it hard to breathe?

Asthma  results in difficulty in breathing, cough, excessive mucus secretion, and wheezing sounds during breathing.

An episode of asthma can be induced by a variety of triggers. Broadly, they can be categorized into two types: external triggers and internal triggers.
A vast majority of asthma triggers are external – exposure to an allergen. Pollens, dust mites, cockroach parts, and the dander of rodents or of other animals are known allergens that affect many individuals. Another category of common allergens include pollutants in the air. Smoke from charcoal grills or open fires, strong fumes of chemicals such as gasoline and paints, or even strong scents of perfumes and soaps may induce irritation of airways in certain people.
Food ingredients comprise another category of external asthma triggers. Several people have been reported to be allergic to food substances such as peanuts, soy, eggs, shrimp, cow milk, fish, wheat, and certain fruits.
Strenuous exercise is also capable of inducing asthma by causing airway constriction (also referred to as “exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.
In some patients with very sensitive respiratory systems, even minor changes in weather or climatic conditions such as a drop in temperature, rise in altitude, or change in humidity levels can induce severe asthma episodes acutely.
While most triggers for asthma are external, there are a few which are internal, and these may often be ignored while analyzing the condition’s etiology.
Expression of strong emotions is often associated with asthma. Intense anger, excitement, crying, as well as laughing may aggravate airway constriction. Crying also causes stuffiness of the nose in most individuals, and thus makes it more difficult for them to breathe.
 
ref: https://www.news-medical.net

Getting 'high' on air…

Even the healthiest person would find it difficult to breathe during the warm and very damp weather in the summer season. The patients ailing with a chronic lung disease such as COPD or pulmonary fibrosis have to be very careful. Surprisingly COPD is more common in women than men. Literally, 37% of women are more likely to have COPD than men.
Good nutrition means healthy eating. You need good nutrition to make your body stronger. You should eat a variety of foods every day. When you have COPD, preparing food and eating large meals may lead to shortness of breath. Here are some ways to help prevent shortness of breath.
Eat 6 small meals each day, instead of 3 large meals. 

Chewing and digesting food uses up oxygen. When you eat a small meal, you use up less oxygen than when you eat a large meal. In addition, a large meal fills your stomach. A full stomach presses on your diaphragm. The diaphragm is the main muscle we use to breathe. When your stomach presses on your diaphragm, it is harder for you to breathe.
Eat slowly, and breathe evenly
Avoid gas-forming foods like:

  • All beans (except green beans)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Melons
  • Onions
  • Raw apples
  • Turnips

Your doctor will prescribe the type of oxygen device, the flow rate, and how and when to use it. When traveling OxygenWorldwide can supply in over 120 countries and take any stress out of the arranging of your oxygen supply.
 
ref: http://www.upmc.com

Taking the breath of life

People with a lung condition can get short of breath but The British Lung Foundation have set out the following tips for breathing exercises to help the shortness of breath and breathe more easily each day.

  • relaxed slow deep breathing: breathe in gently through your nose and breathe out through your nose and mouth. Try to feel relaxed and calm each time you breathe out.
  • pursed-lips breathing: breathe in gently through your nose and breathe out with your lips pursed as if you are whistling.
  • blow as you go: use this when you’re doing something that makes you breathless, such as standing up. Breathe in before you make the effort. Then breathe out while making the effort. Try using pursed lips as you breathe out.
  • paced breathing: this is useful when you’re active, such as climbing stairs. You pace your steps to your breathing. For example, breathe in when on the stair, and breathe out as you go up a stair.

Try to practise them every day. They can also help if you get out of breath suddenly. Being in control of your breathing means breathing gently, using the least effort, with your shoulders supported and relaxed.
Great advice!
 

Oxygen therapy treat Alzheimer's?

Breathing oxygen at a higher-than-normal air pressure might ease some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, if recent research done in mice has the same results in humans.

Mice genetically engineered to develop some human features of Alzheimer’s disease showed significant reductions in physical and behavioral symptoms after 2 weeks of daily treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).
This was the result that a team hailing from the University of Tel Aviv (TAU) in Israel reported in a paper that was published recently in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.
HBOT is a type of treatment during which the person breathes oxygen at a pressure that is greater than normal air pressure. The treatment, which is delivered inside a pressurized chamber, can cause the lungs to absorb up to three times more oxygen than usual.
The researchers note in their study paper that, while HBOT “has been used successfully to treat several neurological conditions,” its effects on Alzheimer’s disease “have never been thoroughly examined.”

In a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that they custom-built for the small animals, the researchers gave the transgenic mice 1 hour of HBOT every day for 14 days. They also gave another group of normal mice (the controls) the same treatment.
After this, the team observed the mice as they completed a number of behavioral tests. They also examined their brain tissue for effects of the treatment on the physical hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. They compared the results with the control mice.
The researchers’ analysis showed various biological and biochemical signs that HBOT had reduced inflammation in the brain.
 
The team suggests that the findings show that HBOT shows promise as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, especially given that it “is used in the clinic to treat various indications, including neurological conditions.”
 

references https://www.medicalnewstoday.com

Christmas trees could trigger deadly asthma attacks, doctors have warned.

christmas-tree
The festive fir in the corner of your living room harbours mould, which can aggravate the lungs.
Leading charity Asthma UK has urged people to be vigilant over the Christmas period.
Their data shows around 300 people are admitted to hospital on Christmas Day each year, suffering severe attacks, that could be linked to the festive favourite.
Mould that naturally grows on your tree can multiply in the warm temperatures of your living room.
And fake trees aren’t the safe alternative they may seem to be, gathering dust and mould in the loft, that can aggravate the lungs.
But, those with allergies as well as asthma sufferers should be alert to the dangers, Asthma UK urged. The moulds are naturally occurring on the trees, but flourish when they are inside our toasty warm homes in the winter.
But the charity also warns that both real and fake trees can also pose a threat.
 
Fake trees are a great alternative if the allergens that form on a real tree cause you too many breathing difficulties.
But artificial trees, and decorations, can gather dust and mould when they are kept in storage for the year which can cause a flare-up of symptoms when you put it up.
So it’s a good idea to wipe them down when you pull it out of storage and wrap them in plastic to keep the dust at bay when you put them away again.
 
 
 
reference: https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/4981922/warning-doctors-christmas-tree-deadly-asthma-attacks/