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Have COPD? Here are Some Tips for Starting your Mornings Right

30/11/2017
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A lot of people with COPD wake up to troublesome symptoms that often turn a beautiful morning into a curse. But you can make your mornings less upsetting by doing some of the useful tips we’ll share below. Read on and start your mornings right from now on!


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can result in a number of symptoms that can adversely affect your life. What’s more, COPD patients often experience these symptoms early in the morning. Ranging from mild cough to severe breathlessness, these complaints can hinder you from performing even simple morning rituals and tasks. For individuals suffering from more pronounced, severe COPD, these nagging symptoms force them to stay at bed or even skip their usual routine. If not properly managed, these symptoms can aggravate the economic burden that COPD imposes and can have a considerable impact on the quality of life.


According to a 2013 study, five of the most common symptoms experienced by COPD sufferers in the early morning include: breathlessness, phlegm production, cough, wheezing and chest tightness.


Dealing with early morning COPD symptoms

If you are suffering from COPD, chances are you might experience these symptoms at some point in your life. However, you should not allow these symptoms to ruin your day and stop you from living your life.  How do you do that? Here are some common morning symptoms and what you can do with them to start your morning right.


1. Breathlessness

Have you ever experienced feeling very exhausted and breathless after having a good night’s sleep?

This is not an uncommon symptom with COPD. What actually happens when you sleep is that your breathing tends to become very shallow. When you wake up, the lungs need some time to recover and breathe ‘normally.’ The degree of breathlessness depends on the level of lung impairment. That means, if you have a decreased lung capacity, you may experience more pronounced shortness of breath as compared to those with normal lung capacity.

Taking your medications on time and avoiding skipping medications can help you prevent this symptom upon waking up. If breathlessness becomes more common and severe, make sure to check with your health-care provider as you might need to have adjustments in your medications.

Plus, if your doctor has prescribed you with supplementary oxygen therapy, make sure that you get enough oxygen through the night. This can be done by checking that you have the right flow rate and does (LPM). You also have to make sure that your cannula or mask does not get dislodged through the night.

Some may require breathing aides or machines at night to prevent breathlessness. It is also great if you can schedule your day well, attempting to minimize physically draining activities in the morning.


2. Wheezing and chest tightness

As result of obstructed airways, you may experience wheezing, characterized as a musical sound or whistling on breathing. It can be accompanied by feelings of chest tightness. These two symptoms are often associated with mucus obstructing the airways, and at the same time, the muscular tightening that may come with COPD. It is important that you do measures to clear your lungs of mucus plugs. The next item contains some tips you can do for easier lung clearance.


3. Phlegm buildup and productive cough

Perhaps, you too have also experienced waking up to clogged airways. This unavoidable symptom of COPD is caused by the changes in the lung’s structure. However, you can get rid of morning phlegm much easier by following your doctor’s advice and with proper medication.

Drinking plenty of water every day can help thin your mucus. Another helpful tip is by drinking something very cold then followed by a gulp of very warm water to loosen up mucus. You can also learn to do postural drainage techniques. These are quite useful in dislodging phlegm buildup. You may also check with your doctor if using external solutions or mechanical assistance devices (like oscillatory vests) could be helpful in loosening up mucus buildup.


There you have it, some of the most common COPD ‘morning symptoms’ and how you can manage them. Never let these nuisances ruin your day! Always remember that you deserve to have a great day and a great life to live!

 


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