Reducing Your Risk of COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be prevented – or at least, you can reduce your risks for suffering from its symptoms. While the symptoms of the chronic inflammatory lung disease can be managed with medications, such as Spiriva, these can reduce your quality of life. Indeed, the more proactive you are in reducing your risks, the more likely you will not suffer from its symptoms.  

Many of the ways to reduce your risk of COPD are also used to reduce the severity, frequency and duration of symptoms, in case you still get it.

Stop Smoking

People who have been exposed to tobacco smoke, either as smokers or from secondhand smoke, for prolonged periods are more likely to develop COPD. The more packs you smoke and the more years you have been a smoker, the higher your risks for the disease. Thus, your first step is to stop smoking cigarettes!   

But it’s not just cigarettes that you should stop smoking either. Studies have shown that cigar smokers, pipe smokers, and marijuana smokers are also at risk.

Even when you don’t directly smoke, your prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke can make you a likely candidate for the disease, too. You should then avoid such exposure.

If you have asthma, then you have another reason to stop smoking to reduce your risk of COPD. You’re already experiencing health issues as it is with the chronic inflammatory airway disease, which can be triggered by smoking, so there’s no sense in adding to your woes.

Decrease Your Exposure to Certain Things

People who have long-term exposure to chemical fumes, dusts and vapors from the environment, especially in the workplace, also have higher risk of COPD. These things irritate the lungs resulting in chronic inflammation that, in turn, can lead to the disease. The symptoms will become worse even when medications are used since the root cause still remains.  

These two risk factors are within your control. You can stop smoking, with or without nicotine patches and the like, and significantly decrease your exposure to secondhand smoke. You can also adopt safety measures to decrease your exposure to fumes, dust and vapors in your workplace, home and the environment, such as wearing dust masks.  

These steps are necessary since there are factors that you cannot control, such as age and genetics. The more you take control of your health, the less you will feel helpless in the face of the diseases that modern man has to deal with.  

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