For individuals struggling with respiratory conditions such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and lung cancer, improving lung function is essential. With the right techniques and lifestyle changes, improving lung function is possible. Join us today as we explore the different ways that lung function can be improved.
Diaphragmatic breathing, also called belly breathing, involves breathing deeply and fully using the diaphragm. This can strengthen the diaphragm and allow you to use your lungs at 100% capacity, improving your overall lung function. This breathing exercise can help reduce blood pressure, reduce your heart rate, and allow you to use less energy to breathe, making breathing easier.
To do this exercise, start by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your abdomen, right below your rib cage. Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise and your chest to stay still. Then exhale slowly through your mouth and repeat.
Pursed Lip Breathing
When individuals with respiratory conditions are experiencing shortness of breath, pursed lip breathing can be beneficial. Pursed lip breathing helps control the rate of breathing and prevents rapid exhalation. This will make each breath you take more efficient.
To do this exercise, you will need to sit down in a comfortable and relaxed position, then inhale slowly through your nose. Purse your lips as if you were whistling and exhale slowly through your pursed lips and repeat. It can be helpful to count as you are taking these breaths, so count to two when inhaling, and count to four when exhaling.
There are many types of treatments available that can help improve lung function for individuals with respiratory conditions. Respiratory treatments include:
Ventilatory Support (invasive and noninvasive)
Invasive and noninvasive ventilatory support can help to improve oxygenation, clear airway secretions, and give the respiratory muscles a break, allowing them to recover and become stronger.
Oxygen therapy can help reduce shortness of breath, allow patients to feel more energized, increase quality of sleep, and more.
Airway Clearance Techniques
Airway clearance techniques effectively remove secretions and sticky mucus from the lungs, allowing patients to breathe easier and reducing the risk of infections.
Lifestyle changes can be made to help improve lung function and strengthen your lungs. These lifestyle changes can benefit your lungs as well as your overall health.
Regular exercise is great for improving lung function as it can increase lung capacity, strengthen respiratory muscles, and improve your heart health.
It is crucial to always stay hydrated, especially when trying to improve lung function because it can help to reduce the thickness of the mucus in your lungs and airways, making it easier to clear from your airways.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
It’s important to maintain a healthy weight to prevent any excess pressure on the lungs that could make it more difficult to breathe.
When prioritizing your respiratory health, if you smoke, it is crucial that you quit smoking. Quitting smoking can reduce coughing and shortness of breath, improve lung function, and decrease your risk of lung cancer.
Air quality can have a significant impact on your respiratory health and lung function. It is important to take steps to improve the air quality in your home such as cleaning regularly and using an air purifier. Try to avoid outdoor air pollutants when possible.
Lung function is crucial to our respiratory health, and taking the correct steps to improve lung function can have a positive impact on our respiratory health, especially for individuals with respiratory conditions. When looking to improve your lung function, remember to consult with a respiratory therapist before trying any techniques, as they can provide you with the safest options and treatments if necessary.
At the Advanced Respiratory Care Network, we can help you get back on the right track toward improving your lung function. We offer services including respiratory diagnostics, oxygen services, cardiology, and so much more. Please visit our website or contact us to find out how our team can help you.