According to the American Lung Association, approximately 11 million people in the United States have COPD, making it the third leading cause of death in the country. A debilitating, chronic disease, COPD attacks the lungs in waves, leaving them more scarred and damaged with each attack. Fortunately, COPD can be managed for many years if you know how to avoid certain triggers that can lead to flare ups. The triggers vary from person to person. However, there are numerous common pollutants and irritants that seem to affect the majority of people with COPD.
Chemicals used in cleaning agents, such as bleach and ammonia, can cause a COPD flare up. You may find that you have to avoid chemical cleaning agents altogether or limit the ones that you do use. You may also wish to consider using all-natural or low-odor cleaning agents as these may not irritate you quite as much. Once you know what ingredients you do react to, make a list and check each new product for that ingredient. You may not always be able to smell it.
Smog and air pollution are huge triggers for COPD. There are especially high levels of pollution on warm, sunny and calm days. Smog is also possible on winter days with low wind speeds. The smog level in your city varies daily, depending on the weather and amount of pollutants in the air. Always check your city's smog report before going outside. When levels are especially high, your city may issue a formal warning for people with lung issues to remain indoors.
Strong odors, such as perfumes and scented candles, can also lead to a flare up. As mentioned, learn your triggers so you can avoid them. If you feel your lungs getting tight, remove yourself from the situation. It only takes a short exposure window to exacerbate your lung condition.
If you have COPD, you should never smoke, as it can worsen your condition. You should also take care when being out in public not to come into contact with any second-hand smoke. If you smell smoke, remove yourself from the situation.
COPD has many triggers. Therefore, it's vital that you learn what your triggers are so you can avoid them. Watch air pollution and smog levels in your city. If they're too high, take measures to limit your exposure Also, avoid strong odors, tobacco smoke and harsh cleaning chemicals.
For more information, you will want to contact a company such as http://www.westcoastsmogtest.com.