By: CHIOMA UMEHA
Routine activities, such as bathing, grooming and dressing, can take their toll on your energy if you have moderate or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). But using some simple energy-conserving techniques can help you get through these tasks more quickly and with less effort. COPD is one of the most common lung diseases.
It makes it difficult to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD: Chronic bronchitis, which involves a long-term cough with mucus and Emphysema, which involves destruction of the lungs over time. Most people with COPD have a combination of both conditions. Therefore, if you have lung disorder, the following guidelines will be of help. Two key principles to keep in mind: Plan to carry out these activities when you’re feeling most energetic, and gather all the supplies you will need before you start.
Here are additional tips:
Bathing and lung disorders
• Instead of standing in the shower, use a bath stool or take baths.
• Because excess humidity can make it tougher to breathe, use warm water rather than hot, leave the bathroom door open, turn on exhaust fans and open a window whenever possible.
• If washing your hair is difficult, ask someone else to do it for you.
• Use a long-handled brush or sponge so you won’t need to reach to wash your back and feet.
• If you rely on oxygen, you can still use it while in the tub or shower – just drape the tube over the shower rod or side of the tub.
• Dry off by wearing a long terry-cloth robe and blotting rather than using a towel to rub yourself dry – it takes less effort. Cosmetics and lung disorders
• Choose a simple hairstyle that doesn’t require extensive blow drying or styling.
• Conserve energy by sitting in front of a low mirror when shaving or applying makeup.
• Avoid products that are aerosolized or heavily scented, which will irritate your lungs. Perfumes and colognes may also make it more difficult for you to breathe, so avoid using these products. Dressing and lung disorders
• Keep your clothes in places that do not require you to bend or reach.
• If you are most energetic in the evenings, plan ahead and lay out tomorrow’s clothes the night before.
• Avoid tight-fitting clothing that can make breathing difficult. For example, men can wear suspenders instead of belts, and women can wear camisoles or sports bras instead of regular bras.
• Do not wear socks or stockings with elastic bands, since they can restrict circulation. (Support hosiery recommended by your doctor is the exception.)
• Slip-on shoes mean you don’t have to bend over to tie shoelaces. A long shoehorn (12 to 18 inches) can also make it easier to put shoes on.
• To conserve energy, stay seated as long as possible while dressing, and dress your lower half first, as it is usually more difficult. Putting your underwear inside your pants and pulling both on together may be helpful as well.
This story was published in Newswatch Times on July 27, 2013.