[LOVEGO]Does hypoxia lead to heart illness?

Lovego oxygen concentrator-Report

If you or your loved one have COPD, you may be familiar with the term hypoxia. To better understand how hypoxia impacts your body organs and tissues, including the heart, let’s first talk about how COPD can cause it.

COPD and hypoxia

In the body, oxygen goes into the lungs and is carried by the alveoli into the blood. The oxygenated blood then travels to various body organs and tissues, which all need oxygen to function well. In lung damage due to COPD, the lungs may not be able to take in enough oxygen. Thus, blood from the lungs may not be able to supply enough oxygen to body organs and tissues, causing hypoxia.

Some of the most common symptoms of hypoxia include:

  • Confusion
  • Very fast breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Changes in skin color, such as a bluish tinge
  • Sweating
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Coughing and wheezing

Note that these symptoms can vary from person to person. Severe hypoxia can be very harmful, so seek medical attention immediately.

Hypoxia and your heart

One of the most important organs affected by a lack of oxygen is the heart. The heart muscle, which needs oxygen to keep it pumping, is markedly sensitive to fluctuations in oxygen levels. Lungs that are damaged and do not function well make it more difficult for the heart muscle to get enough oxygen. This is one of the reasons why COPD is often associated with heart illnesses.

Acute or short-term hypoxia causes an increase in heart rate along with mild hypertension. This is due to the reaction of certain physiologic mechanisms that control heart rate and regulate respiratory activity to maintain gas concentrations in the body.

In the long term, however, hypoxia may cause damage to the heart and circulation. One of these conditions is pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension is an increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries, which carry blood from the heart to the lungs for oxygenation. The right side of the heart is responsible for pumping blood into the lungs to pick up oxygen. This oxygenated blood then travels back to the left side of the heart to be pumped to body organs and tissues.

People with long-term hypoxia are prone to vasoconstriction (narrowing) of the pulmonary arteries. This results in the build-up of pressure in these arteries, which causes the right side of the heart to pump harder. Such stress can then cause the heart’s right ventricle to become damaged and weak, and thus unable to pump enough blood into the lungs. This condition can later on lead to right heart failure.

Additionally, a person with COPD may also be predisposed to mild heart failure. Research shows that about 20-70 % of COPD patients develop heart failure. Such a condition may be due in part to increased inflammation in the body along with the damage caused by lack of oxygen in certain tissues.

Can heart illness be prevented in COPD?

The answer is yes, it can! One of the things you can do to protect yourself from heart disease is to work closely with your doctor to create a treatment regimen that prevents COPD from getting worse. Lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking, weight management and regular exercise will also have a big impact. It’s also a good idea to regularly monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Always follow your medication and oxygen therapy regimens, and talk to your doctor if you experience any changes with your symptoms.

 

[LOVEGO] Is Your Breathing Too Fast or Too Slow?

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Many patients with COPD often wonder whether their breathing is at the normal rate. With all the other symptoms like breathlessness and fatigue, wondering about your breathing rate can add to the anxiety. Questions like “what is normal for COPD?” and “when do I have to see a doctor to check my respiratory rate?” are very common. Let’s take a look at some answers below.

Respiratory rate – what is it?

First things first – let’s talk about what respiratory rate means. The rate of your breathing, or your respiratory rate, is a measure of how fast or slow your breaths are in one minute. For adults, the normal respiratory rate is 12 to 20 breaths per minute. Take note that one breath consists of one complete inhalation-exhalation cycle.

If you are at rest and you have less than 12 breaths per minute, this is considered very slow breathing, which is called “bradypnea.” Anything above 20 breaths per minute is considered very fast breathing, and is called “tachypnea.”

Breathing rates with COPD

In COPD, breathing rate is often increased. This is especially the case with emphysema, because the lungs cannot get adequate oxygen. A low oxygen level can then cause the breathing to become shallow and fast, leading to tachypnea. Additionally, some patients with emphysema can also have very high amounts of carbon dioxide in the body. This can also trigger shallow, rapid breathing.

Aside from low oxygen levels and high carbon dioxide levels, other factors may also cause tachypnea in COPD. One common example is when a fever occurs due to a lung infection. The increased temperature that comes with a fever can trigger your respiratory system to breathe faster to help release body heat. Other conditions that can contribute to very fast breathing include heart problems and anemia.

Anxiety is also common in patients with COPD. Having difficulty in catching your breath can make you frightened and worried, which can trigger panic, breathlessness and tachypnea.

Physical exercise can sometimes bring about breathlessness and rapid breathing. It’s important to always ask your doctor if a new exercise routine is safe for you to do.

How to avoid and treat abnormal breathing rates

Abnormal, fast breathing in COPD can be managed by targeting the underlying cause. For example, if the cause of tachypnea is anxiety, you have to take steps to relax and break the cycle of panic and worry. Techniques like meditation, relaxation breathing, and guided imagery may help. Reducing your anxiety can not only help prevent tachypnea, but can also be beneficial to reducing other symptoms of the disease.

In some cases, you may need to talk with your doctor if you think that your abnormal rapid breathing is caused by an underlying cause. If tachypnea is caused by lack of oxygen, your doctor may give or add medications like bronchodilators. These can help open up the airways and allow more oxygen to get to your lungs. It can also help in promoting exhalation of excessive carbon dioxide.

Other medications like steroids can also reduce swelling in your airways, helping you to breather more easily. If the cause of tachypnea is fever due to a suspected lung infection, your doctor will give you antibiotics to clear up the infection, along with medications to reduce the fever.

Your doctor will also determine if you need oxygen therapy to help normalize your breathing rate. If you are already on supplemental oxygen, your doctor will check if you need an adjustment in dose.

When do you need to go to the hospital?

An abnormal breathing rate itself is not a sole cause for hospitalization, but a COPD exacerbation is. If you notice symptoms like severe breathlessness, excessive mucus and coughing, and an increased respiratory rate, you could be having an exacerbation. In some cases, a severe exacerbation can cause very rapid breathing of more than 25 breaths per minute, along with the symptoms mentioned above. Such a case warrants a trip to the emergency room immediately! Getting rapid treatment is very important.

All in all, an abnormal breathing rate may be a sign that something is wrong. While this isn’t always the case, it’s still better to observe any other symptoms and follow what your body is telling you. If you notice that your breathing rate is too fast or too slow, giving your doctor a visit can help determine and treat any underlying conditions.

Have you experienced abnormally fast or slow breathing? What did you do? Share your experience in the comments below!

[LOVEGO]New Medications for Managing COPD

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Aside from supplemental oxygen and pulmonary rehabilitation, you may already know that your COPD treatment also consists of various medications. These medications help maintain airway functioning, prevent flare-ups, and also slow down the worsening of your COPD.

So many new drugs are being investigated today, and in the past decade, many of these have been FDA approved and have improved the lives of many patients. Recently, there have been various developments for COPD medications. Here are some new medications that are promising for COPD, and may be potentially better than existing medications.

Roflumilast

Known as Daliresp in the US and Daxas in the UK, this medication is classed as a selective phosphodiesterase inhibitor. It is a medication recommended to reduce the chance for COPD flare-ups, especially in patients with severe COPD, particularly chronic bronchitis.

This medication works by decreasing the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. This results in less swelling in the lungs and airways.

It also prevents tissue damage and promotes the relaxation of the muscles involved in breathing. Such effects can potentially improve lung function and make it easier to breathe in the long run.

This medication is prescribed with bronchodilators as an add-on maintenance treatment for COPD. It comes in tablet form, and is recommended to be taken once a day.

Breo Ellipta

You may have been prescribed the anti-inflammatory drug fluticasone, but this new medication called Breo Ellipta combines fluticasone with another drug called vilanterol.

Fluticasone helps prevent inflammation, meaning that it reduces swelling in the airways, preventing airway narrowing and spasms due to inflammation. Vilanterol is a long-acting bronchodilator that relaxes the airway muscles and promotes easier movement of air in and out of the lungs.

This combination is an excellent treatment as these two actions work together to make breathing easier, prevent flare-ups and reduce the incidence of hospitalizations.This medication is used to treat emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or both. It comes in a powder form for inhalation to be taken once a day.

Take note that Breo Ellipta is for long-term maintenance therapy, and thus should not be used to relieve sudden flare-ups or exacerbations.

Revefenacin

This medication is an investigational new drug classified as a long-acting antimuscarinic antagonist (LAMA). Though it is still undergoing approval by the FDA, results from various clinical studies have found it to be a very promising agent for COPD treatment.

Revefenacin is first nebulized bronchodilator intended to be taken once daily to treat COPD. Though there are a variety of medication forms used to treat COPD, like oral medications and powders for inhalation, some patients prefer or require nebulization therapy.

This medication is recommended for patients with mild COPD who cannot take other types of medications. Since it is long-acting, it is appropriate for patients who prefer a once-daily medication dose instead of multiple doses.

So, there you have it: three new medications for COPD. Note that the appropriateness as well as side effects and other factors have to be considered before asking a prescription for these new COPD medications. Talk to your doctor to discuss your options and decide which medications are best for your condition.

Have you tried any of these new medications? Share your experience in the comments below!

[LOVEGO]Proper Use and Care of Inhaler devices for COPD

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Medications taken via inhalation devices are often included in the medicine regimen for COPD. If you have this condition, your doctor may have prescribed you an inhaled medication that you have to take regularly or only during flare-ups.

Among the keys to effective inhalation therapy are the proper use and care of your inhalation device. Whether it’s a metered-dose inhaler or a breath-activated inhaler, it’s important to know how to properly use and care for your inhalation device.

Here are the two common types of inhalation devices and tips on their proper use and care.

Pressurized metered dose inhalers

Also known as MDI’s, this type consists of different kinds. Among them, the most common is the standard MDI, which releases a dose of medicine when the top is pressed.

Proper use of this includes the following steps:

  1. Shake the inhaler before using it. This helps loosen up the powder
  2. Breathe out, then place the inhaler into your mouth between your teeth. Then, close your lips around it.
  3. Breathe in more slowly than usual, then press the top of the inhaler to release the dose you need. Make sure that you breathe in deeply at the same time.
  4. Remove the inhaler from your mouth and hold your breath for a while after breathing in (around 8-10 seconds). This ensures that the medication gets to your lungs. You can now breathe out normally.

Breath-activated inhalers

These inhalers are similar to metered dose inhalers since the released powder is measured out per dose. The difference is that there’s no need to press the device to trigger the release. You only need to breathe in deeply at the mouthpiece, and this activates the release of medication.

Depending on the brand of your medication, the inhaler device may be called a different name. Some examples are the turbohaler, accuhaler, easyhaler, diskhaler, clickhaler and novolizer. These are all breath-activated inhalers and essentially work the same way.

For proper use of these devices, these are the steps:

  1. Ensure that the mouthpiece is uncovered upon breathing in.
  2. Place the mouthpiece and completely cover the hole with your lips.
  3. Breathe in deeply (more deeply than usual) through your mouth to activate the powder’s release.
  4. Hold your breath for a few seconds for the medication to reach your lungs.

Proper care of metered-dose inhalers and breath-activated inhalers

As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to care for your inhaler the right way to ensure that you get effective treatment from the medication. Anything that affects the drug inside the device or how the device works can result in ineffective therapy.

The following are some tips you can follow to keep your inhaler devices in tiptop shape.

  • When the inhaler is not in use, make sure that the cap is on. This prevents any unnecessary release of medication.
  • Before use, always check that the hole where the powder is released is clear and not plugged up.
  • After using the inhaler, wipe off any excess powder in and around the mouthpiece using a clean tissue or cloth.
  • Always store the device and inhalation medications at room temperature in a dry place. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures (too hot or too cold). This may affect the medication and its release.
  • If the inhaler gets too cold, warm it with your hands. Do not expose to heat sources!
  • Always check for the expiry date of the medication.
  • Keep track of the number of doses you need. After every puff or use, writing down the number of doses or puffs you’ve used will help you keep better track.
  • Know when the device has to be refilled or replaced. A good tip is to note the date when the device was first used or refilled. After your first few cycles of use, you’ll know when to expect the doses to run out.
  • If the MDI feels unusually light and does not make a sound when shaken, chances are it needs either refilling or replacement.
  • Always store the device in an area easily accessible to you, as this will be helpful in emergency cases. Make sure though, that it is out of children’s reach.

We hope that these tips help you with using and caring for your inhaler devices better!

If you have any additional suggestions and tips, do share them in the comments below!

[LOVEGO]7 Things to Do First When Diagnosed with COPD

Lovego COPD tips

Ambivalence, helplessness, hopelessness – these may be among the most common emotions you feel when you first learn about your diagnosis. You may be wondering how your life will change with a chronic illness, or still be in shock at being diagnosed with COPD.

First, know that it’s normal to feel this way. Being diagnosed with a chronic condition is no easy thing. Chronic illnesses, like COPD, can be frightening because you probably don’t know what it is.

Your doctor will most probably give you a brief introduction about your condition–a few facts about the disease and what you should expect–but this brief interaction can never fully answer all questions at the back of your mind. And it is this fear of the unknown that can make COPD more daunting.

At first, maybe no words can assuage how you’re feeling. But you shouldn’t let these initial emotions overcome you. Being proactive about your diagnosis can have a big impact in making you feel less hopeless and more in control.

Let’s take a look at the first few things you have to do when you’re diagnosed with COPD.

  1. Know more about COPD

As the saying goes, knowledge is power! Free your mind from excessive worrying and instead get to know more about your condition. Read about your condition, its symptoms, prognosis, and medications. Explore available medical treatments for COPD as well.

Learn about COPD from other people living with it. Seek out COPD support groups and patients, and get to know them and their routines. Understanding your condition and knowing how to manage it can help you cope properly.

More importantly, make sure to include your family and friends through this journey. COPD is not something you have to keep to yourself. Having a reliable support system is essential, and you will surely need it through the ups and downs of your condition.

  1. Make healthy lifestyle changes immediately

Quality life with COPD is not impossible. But to achieve this, you have to make healthy lifestyle changes. Topmost priority here is that you have to stop irritating your lungs by quitting smoking. You should also avoid exposure to other irritants like second-hand smoke, dust, chemical fumes and air pollution that can trigger COPD symptoms.

  1. Mind what you eat

You also have to pay attention to what you eat. This is because some foods can worsen your condition. For instance, milk and other dairy products can increase your mucous production. Knowing which foods to stay away from and which foods to stock up on can help you avoid flare-ups and keep an ideal weight.

Of course, you have to consume the right amount of carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals, and water. Usually, your doctor will recommend checking with a nutritionist for a more appropriate diet.

  1. Develop a daily routine

Compliance with your treatment regimen is essential. In this early stage, a good tip is to make a checklist of your daily regimen and routine. This includes taking medications (and their corresponding doses), checking oxygen levels, doing breathing exercises, taking supplemental oxygen, running certain diagnostics, and other treatment recommendations from your physician. Though it may be quite tedious at first, eventually this routine will become natural and you won’t need any reminders for each of these tasks.

You’ll also have to learn how to schedule activities throughout the day to avoid pushing yourself to exhaustion. Develop a routine where you can still complete your daily living tasks, such as personal care, cooking, exercise, and even some work, while still factoring in the needed rest and treatments. You may also need to make some adjustments inside your home so you can conserve energy.

  1. Prepare for medical expenses

Expect an increase in medical expenses in the coming months. Aside from medications, you will most likely need frequent clinic visits or hospital visits. Know your insurance plan and be familiar with what is covered and what is not to avoid unnecessary expenses. Explore your monthly expenses and see where you can save up. You would need to budget accordingly and save to avoid financial problems in case you need urgent medical attention. It’s also a good idea to check for financial assistance offered in your area.

  1. Establish a support system

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to let your loved ones know about your diagnosis. Aside from offering much-needed emotional support, your family and friends can also lend a hand in times when you badly need assistance. Additionally, letting the people around you know about your condition will urge them to modify any actions that can trigger flare-ups or be bad for your condition. This includes smoking, putting on strong fragrances, and using strongly-scented products around the house. Adding CODP SERVICE GROUP ON FACEBOOK.

  1. Work closely with your doctor

Managing a chronic condition requires a treatment plan that you can develop with your health care team. With the help of your doctor, you can create an action plan that is achievable. Explore available treatment options and discuss these with your doctor. Know the pros and cons, and whether these alternatives can be applicable to you. Discuss any fears or concerns you have as well.

Developing open communication lines with your doctor is crucial as you deal with the different changes due to COPD. Take note that COPD is a progressive disease and your treatment plan may need to adjust eventually.

So, there you have it! These are among the first actionable tips you should do once you’re diagnosed with COPD. Taking this advice to heart can allow you a more stress-free adjustment into having COPD.

Do you have any more advice on what to do once you’re diagnosed with COPD? Share them in the comments below!

[LOVEGO] Robert Matchette and Being Happy Despite COPD

RObert with kathy

Having COPD is quite a life-changing experience, and with all the symptoms and challenges it brings, it could easily get you down. Not for Robert Matchette, however. This talented guitar-picking guy looks all jolly and light-hearted, and from his guitar videos and our interview, it seems like he’s one of those who doesn’t let COPD rule his life.

Let’s get to know more about Robert and his COPD story below.

Robert and the start of his COPD

A hospitalization back in 2012 revealed the diagnosis. He had been a smoker for years and this hospital incident made him realize that he had to stop. “I found out in December 2012. I stayed in the hospital for five days and then they told me I had COPD. I was already in Stage 4. I quit smoking that day,” Robert recalls. He was 52 years old.

Any patient would be shocked to know that his initial diagnosis is an advanced one. This being said, the next few months and years weren’t easy on Robert.

At first, I went to a clinic that was doing research and got free medications to do a study,” he says. When the medications ran out, “I filed for disability in June of 2014,” recounts Robert. “I had to do this to be able to get medications for free.”

The succeeding year wasn’t so great either. “I was having a really hard time with life. In 2015, I got admitted to the emergency room 13 times! I was having too many flare-ups. I thought I’d almost died back then. It was really scary.”

Robert didn’t give up however. In 2016, he went for a treatment that still had conflicting evidence in the medical field.

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Stem Cells

 “In April 2016, I got stem cell treatments. And I think they are working,” quips Robert.

For those who aren’t quite familiar with stem cell treatments, this type of therapy involves introducing new adult stem cells into damaged tissue. Stem cells are cells that are able to divide and renew themselves over long periods of time. They also have the ability to mature into cells with a specific function. When stem cells are introduced into damaged tissue, they have the potential to treat the disease or injury.

Currently, however, there is conflicting evidence to the effectiveness of stem cell treatment for COPD. But for a number of patients like Robert, this therapy seems to be helpful.

“Stem cell therapy only helps 10-20%,” says Robert, “but when you are fighting for your life, it’s a big difference.”

A happy life

 When asked how he is right now, Robert says that he feels great. “COPD is a drag and it’s hard to breathe from time to time, but at least I’m able to play my guitar and have a life.” Simple things like his guitar, plus getting to wake up everyday with the love of his wife Kathy, is enough to make Robert happy.

He currently deals with COPD symptoms by taking medications and doing breathing treatments throughout the day. Now at 58 years old, he hasn’t gone to the ER since August of 2016, so all in all, life is good for Robert. “I’m just blessed to be alive right now and I could not be happier,” he says.

We thanked him for sharing his story, and not surprisingly, this light-hearted fellow says, “If I can help one person, it is worth it.”

You can check out Robert Matchette and his awesome guitar music through his Facebook page at http://bit.ly/2m0PTfp and his Yotube channel at http://bit.ly/2qx97Po.

Do you have a COPD story you’d like to share too? Let us know in the comments below!

[LOVEGO] 6 Tips for Dealing with Friends and Family Who Don’t Understand Your COPD

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Unlike common illnesses such as fever, hypertension, or diabetes, some unusual chronic conditions aren’t always easy to understand, especially for those around you. And this includes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

A lot of people are clueless about what your illness might be like. Most of the time, you’ll get that bizarre look or probing questions from your friends (and even your family) about COPD. Sometimes you’d feel like they have totally changed their perception of you because you have COPD. It’s quite common as well to get feelings of sadness, being ignored, secluded, or basically just misunderstood, all because of your condition. Many COPD patients may also have to deal with significant others who cannot fully comprehend what this chronic lung problem is.

What you can do is be the one to help them understand. Bridge the gap and do your best to be patient with them at the start. Eventually, they’ll get to understand and won’t be indifferent to your condition.

  1. Know your facts

Arm yourself with knowledge. For sure your doctor will educate you about your condition, but don’t just confine yourself to the basic facts. Know more about your condition by reading through official health organization’s websites. Check out patient materials available at your doctor’s clinic, do your research and join COPD forums. All of this will help you get to know more about COPD. This should not only help you explain things to your significant others but also help you understand your condition better.

  1. Break the news the right way at the right time

If it’s your first time to tell your family and friends about your condition, when, how and where to tell them is very important. Avoid being hysteric when telling them about your COPD. Sit them down and tell them the facts you know about your health. Tailor your message to the person you’re talking to. Encourage them to ask questions and try to clear any misunderstandings. This way, you’ll avoid any misconceptions about your condition.

  1. Stick to important details

Try to be specific about COPD: what it is, its symptoms, treatment and prognosis. Avoid being too verbose by adding unnecessary details. Giving direct specific details helps them understand your condition much easier. You can add more confusion if you add in too many unnecessary details, like talking about possible complications and using medical jargon.

  1. Describe how you feel

Letting them know about how you feel on a daily basis, like when you get up in the morning, how you easily get tired performing tasks, and how you frequently get breathless will allow them a clearer perspective of what you’re going through. Explain that these are all effects of the lack of oxygen in your lungs. This will also make them understand what changes to expect from you and what they can help you with.

  1. Show them your medications and any equipment you’re using

Some people get to understand better if they see what you need to take for your condition. Show them your inhalers, your oxygen concentrator, and describe how they work. This way, they’ll also get to know what to do if ever you need any of these medications.

  1. Invite them to a medical appointment or support group meeting

Perhaps the best way to clear their minds of uncertainties is to bring them along with you on your next medical appointment or support group meeting. This way, they’ll have a deeper understanding about COPD. They’ll be able to meet other people with the same condition and possibly even learn more from them and their loved ones. They’ll be able to see the frustrations and troubles you are likely facing in your life.

Gaining as much emotional support from your significant others is essential to your well-being. Allowing them understand your condition by giving them the right information and describing your condition from your perspective can greatly help!

Have you tried dealing with family and friends who didn’t understand your COPD? Share your experiences in the comments below!

 

 

[LOVEGO]5 Uncommon COPD Symptoms and Tips for Dealing with Them

Unusual copd symptom

Thick mucus, chronic cough, feeling of breathlessness and fatigue… Do these all sound familiar? I bet they do! These are among the most common complaints of COPD sufferers. If you have COPD, I’m pretty sure  too you have been dealing with these nagging symptoms.

Almost all COPD patients are familiar with the hallmark symptoms of this respiratory disease. However, there are also less common symptoms associated with COPD that you should watch out for. Unfortunately, many patients are unaware about these unusual symptoms that they often go unnoticed and unreported to doctors. Many think that since they are totally unrelated to breathing, they are not caused by their lung condition.

So, for this post, let’s check out some unusual COPD symptoms that you may have been brushing aside for a long time.

  1. Weight loss

Although weight loss is a common concern among people living with chronic conditions, weight loss may indicate severe COPD. This occurs as a result of a limited space between the stomach and the hyper-inflated lungs. Due to the limited stomach capacity, eating may cause an uncomfortable feeling so you end up limiting your food intake. Additionally, the effort in breathing itself can burn more calories in people with COPD. It can help to get a nutritional and dietary consultation to ensure that you have sufficient dietary intake.

  1. Swollen ankles or fluid retention

For healthy individuals, the kidneys and liver help remove excess fluids from the body. But for people living with COPD, these two organs are unable to function well due to lack of supply of oxygen. This can result in fluid retention and swelling in areas such as legs, ankles and feet.

Elevating your lower extremities can provide symptomatic relief. To completely address this symptom, however, and make sure it isn’t caused by a more serious problem, talk to your doctor about it.

  1. Restless legs/leg cramps

Ever experienced that unpleasant sensation or feelings in the legs while sleeping or resting? Restless legs can range from mild tingling or creeping sensations to painful bouts of leg cramps.

What causes restless legs or leg cramps among COPD sufferers remain unknown. Usually, restless legs syndrome does not require medical intervention. However, if it causes severe disruptions in your sleeping pattern, your healthcare provider may recommend muscle relaxants or other alternative therapies.

  1. Bloating

Hyperinflation of the lungs and oral breathing can contribute to a feeling of bloating. To minimize such symptoms, practicing nose breathing techniques can greatly help, such as abdominal respiration.

  1. Bruising

Some COPD sufferers may notice their skin to be more prone to bruising or tearing. While this is not directly a result of a lung condition, it is often caused by COPD medications, particularly corticosteroids. In case you experience this symptom, make sure to report it to your doctor. He may advise certain adjustments in your medications.

As with other chronic conditions, COPD patients may also experience a sense of hopelessness which can lead to depression. Mental health conditions are not uncommon among individuals with chronic illnesses. Open communication with your support system and physicians is essential in the early management of this condition.

Finally, there are rare (and often severe) symptoms that can indicate a more serious health issues or even indicate a medical emergency. If you experience confusion, slowed mental function, excessive sleepiness, or sudden difficulty of breathing, it’s advisable to immediately go to the emergency room as these are all indicative of respiratory failure.

Reporting every complaint or symptom that you might be experiencing is crucial in the effective management of your COPD. It is important that you build open communication with your healthcare team to ensure that all these symptoms, whether minor or severe, will be properly treated. Remember, a holistic approach in the management of COPD is essential to ensure a better quality of life!

Do you experience any unusual symptoms that could be linked to your COPD? What did you do to alleviate them? Share your experiences below!

[LOVEGO] Tips for Sleeping with Oxygen Therapy

sleep oxygen-Lovego portable Oxygen Concentrator

As you may already know, oxygen therapy can be a big help if you have certain respiratory illnesses such as COPD. Oxygen therapy can allow you to go through your day better and help optimize your energy. But for those who are new to it, getting comfortable with oxygen therapy can be a nuisance– especially if you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep through it! Thankfully, there are solutions for making the most of supplemental oxygen therapy, even when you have to use it while you sleep.

If you’re new to using supplemental oxygen, or if you have been using it for a time but have trouble sleeping while on oxygen, these tips can help you make the experience a lot better.

Dealing with the noise

One of the biggest concerns people have when it comes to using oxygen therapy is that the noise level can be unbearable when trying to sleep. If you encounter a problem with a noisy oxygen concentrator, it may be because your machine is not built for light sleepers. Before you shop for a machine, see to it that the sound emitted by the machine is below 48 decibels so you can have a good night’s sleep. Also you can buy a 5 meters’ prolong oxygen pipe to put the machine in another room.

Nasal dryness and skin irritation

After using oxygen therapy regularly throughout the night or for long periods of time, you may begin to experience side effects such as skin irritation and dryness in your nasal passages. These two aren’t uncommon as they can occur to anyone using oxygen. To help deal with the side effects, first for long  time oxygen therapy, humidifier is a must and aslo you can use a moisturizing product like a saline nasal mist or nasal gel to provide lubrication and lessen dryness. This can help make using oxygen therapy more comfortable in the long run.

Use the right oxygen rate

Before you start with oxygen therapy, it’s normal that your doctor will have you go through a test called arterial blood gas (ABG) test or oximetry. This test measures the oxygen in your blood and helps figure out the correct oxygen flow rate for you. Once your doctor prescribes you your recommended flow rate, you need to set your concentrator to that setting and stick to it! If you use too little oxygen while you sleep, it could produce damage to your brain and heart. On the other hand, going over this oxygen flow rate can also have adverse effects. You need to follow your doctor’s orders.

Do regular maintenance

To make sure that your machine continues to work without any hiccups, you need to make sure it goes through the right maintenance check and procedure. There are some oxygen concentrators that require their filters to be cleaned regularly. You need to follow through with the maintenance guide listed on the manual so you can make sure your machine is working optimally.

Be mindful about usage

Depending on what your doctor says about this, you may need to use oxygen therapy regularly. You may encounter low oxygen levels while you rest. Others need to oxygen therapy all the time to supplement them the oxygen they need. Either way, you need to follow what your doctor says about this so you can get the best results.

Keeping the oxygen mask or cannula in place

When you’re shopping for a cannula or mask, make sure that you find one that easily fits your chin and jaw. If you encounter the rubber chaffing against your face, you can wrap it with white first aide tape so it serves as padding to the tube. Another common issue is when the nasal prongs rub the insides of your nostrils, causing them to become sore. If this is something you encounter, you can apply a thin layer of water-based lubricant to the prongs’ ends. Additionally, you can use a saline nasal spray regularly to keep your nasal passages moist throughout the therapy and lessen soreness.

No matter how tempting it may be to remove your mask or cannula, don’t! Keep it on. Oxygen therapy may be uncomfortable at first but once you get used to it, you’ll start to see improvements in your breathing. It can also greatly improve your quality of life! The important thing is to follow your doctor’s orders which will surely pay off in everyday activities as well as in the long run.

Do you have tips to share when sleeping while on oxygen? Share them with us in the comments below!

[LOVEGO] Frequent headaches with COPD? Here’s Why

headache - Lovego Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Like many chronic illnesses, COPD tends to affect different systems in the body. If you have COPD, you may already be acquainted with the more common complaints of coughing, chest tightness, breathlessness, and pain. For many, however, it comes as a surprise to discover that COPD headaches can also be a common effect.

When you start experiencing headaches along with COPD, it’s important that you seek medical help so that the discomfort can be addressed. At the same time, speaking to a doctor will allow you to deal with complications that may arise due to your COPD.

How to know if your headaches are due to COPD

Headaches, in general, differ in severity and duration. The discomfort can also be caused by a great number of things so it may be hard to determine whether they are caused by COPD or not. If you experience a dull and throbbing headache upon rising in the morning, it could be associated with COPD. Other symptoms to look out for include the following:

  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Choking upon waking up
  • Extreme shortness of breath
  • Low oxygen reading
  • Rapid breathing

Having these symptoms that frequently occur around the same time as your headaches could mean that your headache is caused by COPD.

What Causes COPD Headaches?

Morning headaches are commonly experienced by COPD patients who are at the later stage of the disease. It can also be a common discomfort among patients who get oxygen therapy while they sleep. This is because of a number of reasons:

  • The blood has too little oxygen due to lack of oxygen intake
  • The blood has too much carbon dioxide
  • A combination of these two factors

A lack of oxygen combined with too much carbon dioxide in your body makes for a bad headache. A lack of oxygen intake can then cause hypoxia, which can be a major cause for COPD headaches. Frequent morning COPD headaches can also be due to excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in the blood.

In rare cases, people who get nighttime oxygen therapy usually have too much oxygen in their blood, which may also cause headaches in the morning.

Treating COPD Headaches with Oxygen Therapy

When it comes to treating these headaches, the best way to do it is to manage the pain and discomfort. Since this type of headache is often associated with hypoxia (or when your body is deprived of oxygen), the best thing to do is to increase the oxygen you take in, which can be done with the help of oxygen therapy. The correct dose and frequency of oxygen use will be prescribed by your doctor.

Taking the right amount of oxygen will mostly help prevent COPD headaches. You’ll notice that the symptoms of your headaches will improve or altogether disappear once you’ve taken in the right amount of oxygen.

If you’re not yet on oxygen therapy and frequently have headaches along with the symptoms above, it may be time to ask your doctor if you need supplemental oxygen.

Other Ways to Treat COPD Headaches

It’s also worth noting that there are other factors that may lead to COPD headaches. One common cause is when you have breathing problems while you sleep. As a result, your quality of sleep gets disrupted since you are unable to sleep smoothly throughout the night. When you wake up the next morning, you could be experiencing difficulty in functioning properly. Whether or not you have COPD, sleep deprivation can cause headaches.

In some cases, sleep apnea may also lead to COPD headaches. Such a condition is pretty common among COPD patients. It is identified as a frequent episode where you encounter shallow breathing or even when you stop breathing while you are asleep. If untreated, this could eventually manifest as hypoxia and cause frequent headaches. In order to treat this, you will have to use a system known as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to help you keep your airways open. Sleep apnea is a serious condition especially if you have COPD, so if it’s a possible cause, it’s important to have yourself diagnosed and treated.

While there are over-the-counter pain medications that you can use, these are not advised to be taken more than twice week. Instead, you may opt for one or more of the following remedies to help alleviate headaches:

  • Get more sleep
  • Avoid COPD triggers like smoke, dust, and chemicals
  • Exercise regularly
  • Do some breathing exercises (like yoga and meditation)
  • Avoid sleeping in
  • Invest in a good pillow
  • Watch your caffeine intake
  • Drink peppermint tea

If you regularly encounter COPD headaches, it may be best to speak to your doctor about the best way you can both work at managing the pain better. In some cases, your headaches may not actually be related to COPD. So if your headaches become too frequent and bothersome, it’s best to have your headache evaluated by your doctor.

Since there are several other reasons why you could be experiencing frequent headaches, it’s important that your doctor rules out each possible cause so you get the proper treatment.

Have you experienced COPD headaches? What advice can you share for prevention and pain relief? Tell us in the comments below!