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How to Prevent COPD Exacerbation

Handwashing, Vaccinations, Diet & Exercise Help Prevent COPD Exacerbatin

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Updated October 20, 2011

A COPD exacerbation put simply, is a worsening of COPD symptoms which can often lead to serious illness, hospitalization and death. Caused primarily by airway or lung infections and air pollution, learning how to prevent COPD exacerbation may ultimately help you avoid one.

Here are 5 tips that will help:

1. Handwashing

Handwashing
Photo © Istockphoto.com, user Yin Yang
Did you know that handwashing is one of the best ways to fight infection and lower your risk of COPD exacerbation? And, while many of us might think of ourselves as handwashing experts, in order for it to be effective, handwashing must be done correctly, each and every time you wash. Learn the proper technique of washing your hands and how often you should wash them.

2. Flu Shots

Flu Shots
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Not only do flu shots help prevent the flu, but they can help COPD patients fight off potential episodes of COPD exacerbation. In fact, one of the most common risk factors for a COPD exacerbation is a serious infection like the flu. Learn more about treatment for COPD. Find out more about flu shots.

3. Pneumonia Vaccine

Pneumonia
Photo © Flickr.com, user DHeitkamp
A serious, often life-threatening illness, pneumococcal pneumonia kills approximately 1 out of every 20 people who fall victim to it. And, people who have COPD are at a greater risk for developing pneumococcal pneumonia which can lead to COPD exacerbation. Find out more about pneumonia. Learn how getting a pneumonia vaccine can help you prevent it.

4. Nutrition

COPD Diet
Photo © Flickr.com, user Axis Grid
Although a healthy diet cannot cure COPD, it can help you feel better and give you more energy for all of your daily activities, including breathing. Sound nutrition can also help you fight chest infections, which can lead to COPD exacerbation. Learn some basic, nutritional guidelines for people who have COPD. Find out how can avoid shortness of breath during mealtimes to make sure you are getting the amount of nutrition your body needs. Also, discover the role obesity plays in COPD and 8 easy ways to lose weight.

5. Exercise

Exercise and COPD
Photo © Flickr.com, user surrey pct blog
Exercise is an important part of staying healthy, but it is especially important if you have COPD. An exercise program can help you regain a sense of control over your life, increase your self-esteem and improve your overall quality of life. Learn the basics of exercising with a chronic illness. Discover how to increase your flexibility or start a walking program.
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  6. COPD Exacerbation - Preventing COPD Exacerbation

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