Pulmonary Rehabilitation

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It’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, a time to educate communities about the role of pulmonary rehabilitation in enhancing the quality of life of individuals with lung disease.  Pulmonary rehabilitation is an outpatient program recommended for patients with lung disease who experience shortness of breath frequently and are not able to perform daily activities despite daily use of medication.

What is pulmonary rehabilitation? It’s a program designed to increase an individual’s awareness of their specific disease. A combination of education and exercise achieves this goal. Often they will attend group classes to learn exercise techniques that leave them with less shortness of breath. The group setting gives people an opportunity to meet others managing conditions similar to theirs, and to give and receive peer support. With new skills and knowledge, patients feel better managing their chronic lung disease. Exercising lungs and muscles also increases their ability to be more active and enjoy life more with friends and loved ones. An added benefit is that pulmonary rehabilitation may also decrease the need for hospital visits.

Many patients in rehabilitation programs have a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD (click here to request free information about COPD). Pulmonary rehabilitation programs can also help people with other types of chronic lung disease that limits breathing and activity, such as:

  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Emphysema
  • Lung transplant
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Lung cancer

With 1 in 13 Americans suffering from asthma, it is the most common pulmonary disease, often characterized by coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness or pressure. It is caused by the inflammation of the bronchial tubes in your lungs and increased production of mucus. This causes less air to be taken in and therefore less oxygen distributed through the body. It is also connected to other allergic conditions like atopic dermatitis or hay fever, but there are also non-allergic manifestations of asthma which indicate an autoimmunity connection.

Lung cancer patients can benefit tremendously from pulmonary rehabilitation. This on-going process encompasses multiple components, including exercises that strengthen breathing muscles and train techniques for swallowing more safely. Participating in pulmonary rehabilitation at any phase of lung cancer care and recovery can improve a patient’s ability to manage day-to-day activities, and has been shown to optimize healing after surgery.

Managing pulmonary diseases can be complicated, and patients often have difficulty sustaining activities. Everyday tasks can render a person unable to do the things they really want to do, like taking a walk or visiting with friends or family.

If you or your loved one needs extra help, Assisting Hands Home Care serving Cincinnati, OH has professional caregivers who can give relief and take the stress and strain out of everyday activities. From cooking meals to assisting with bathing and personal care to light housework, our caregivers are there for you. Give us a call today to learn more.



Sources: ClearCare, American Lung Association, Mayo Clinic, University of Rochester Medical Center, verywellhealth.com