Living with a chronic lung condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can make simple, everyday tasks seem daunting.
Climbing stairs may leave you breathless and wheezing, short walks can induce fatigue, and persistent coughs and respiratory infections take their toll on both your physical and mental health.
But if you’re suffering from the effects of poor lung function, pulmonary rehabilitation can help improve your quality of life. Pulmonary rehab is a formal program designed to increase your strength, build your stamina, and boost your lung capacity.
During the program, a team of experts, including doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and nutritionists, will craft a customized plan to address your health concerns and guide you through exercises and therapies that will allow you to live a more comfortable and independent life.
Completing a pulmonary rehabilitation program can help you:
The first and most obvious benefit of pulmonary rehab is improved breathing ability. While a rehab program cannot recover your lung function, you will learn to manage your symptoms through medications and breathing techniques, increasing your oxygen levels and relieving your discomfort.
Many people who engage in pulmonary rehabilitation programs report a decrease in wheezing and shortness of breath.
One of the most important aspects of any pulmonary rehab program is exercise. Strength training combined with light cardio can encourage your heart and lungs to work more efficiently.
You’ll learn modifications to exercises to make them more accessible, which can help you establish a routine that you’ll continue after the program is complete.
Develop healthy eating habits
A healthy diet is crucial to sustaining your strength and wellbeing. To that end, a pulmonary rehab center will usually employ nutritionists or dieticians to counsel you on planning meals, avoiding unhealthy foods, and maintaining a proper weight.
Manage your mental health
According to the American Lung Association, people with chronic lung disease have a higher chance of developing mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. By improving your breathing, pulmonary rehab can relieve some of the emotional stress related to chronic lung conditions.
Additionally, most programs offer mental health counseling to those patients in need.
Gain valuable knowledge
In pulmonary rehab, you’ll participate in educational sessions about your condition, your body, and your medications.
You’ll learn how to identify symptoms, deal with flare-ups, and when to call for help. If you’re a smoker, you’ll also receive information on how to quit.
Avoid hospital stays
According to a study published by the International Journal of COPD, patients who completed a successful pulmonary rehabilitation program experienced a 54% reduction in the number of days they spent in the hospital, when compared to the previous year.
When patients continued to apply the strategies learned in the program, including maintaining a regular exercise routine, they were able to reduce their overall health care costs and stay out of the hospital.
Suffering from a chronic lung condition that restricts your activity can lead to loneliness and isolation.
Attending a program at a pulmonary rehab center puts you in touch with other people who can offer emotional and social support – not just your expert care providers, but also other patients who understand what you’re going through.
Pulmonary rehabilitation at Bella Vista Health Center in San Diego
At Bella Vista Health Center, we offer pulmonary rehabilitation and respiratory therapy programs to support individuals with a variety of breathing difficulties – from chronic lung diseases, such as COPD or asthma, to acute conditions, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
If you’re struggling with your lung function, the top-notch staff at our five-star skilled nursing facility can develop a customized treatment plan to help you achieve greater independence and improve your quality of life.
To find out more about the programs available at our pulmonary rehab center, call us at (619) 644-1000.