Avoiding Triggers

COPD can be challenging to manage. Avoiding triggers or things that cause your COPD symptoms to get worse can be a huge help. Here are some actions you can take:

QUIT SMOKING
If you haven't done so already, quitting smoking is one of the most important steps you can take to help your COPD. Additionally, try to avoid secondhand smoke.1
AVOID AIR POLLUTION
If air pollution levels are high, stay inside.4
KEEP YOUR HOME CLEAN
Keep your home clean and free from excess dust. Removing mold and mildew from bathrooms and sinks is also helpful.2,3
HELP PREVENT SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS
Ask your healthcare provider if and when you should get the flu and/or pneumonia vaccines. These shots can help protect you from getting these illnesses, which are major health risks for people who have COPD.5
USE A COOKING VENT
Make sure the cooking vent is working well so that cooking fumes can be drawn out of your home.6
WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN
Wash your hands often to help prevent the spread of germs, and have people around you do the same.7

References:
1. Living with COPD. NHLBI NIH Web site.http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd/livingwith.html . "Avoid Lung Irritants" section, 2. Living with COPD. NHLBI Web site. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd/livingwith.html 3.Facts about Stachybotrys chartarum and Other Molds. CDC Web site. http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm. "What are the potential health effects of mold in buildings and homes" section 4. Living with COPD. NHLBI Web site. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd/livingwith.html "Avoid Lung Irritants" 5.Living with COPD. NHLBI Web site. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd/livingwith.html. "Get Ongoing Care" 6. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. What You Can Do About a Lung Disease Called COPD. http://goldcopd.org/uploads/users/files/GOLD_PatientGuide_2012.pdf , page 13 7. Taking action. NHLBI Web site. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/lung/copd/breathing-better/taking-action.html.