Here is a roundup of the articles, news & updates that we've published on the PERF blog site during the past month. Click on the "Read More" link at the bottom of each excerpt to read the full article.
Practical Ways to Increase Physical Activity When You Have COPD [VIDEO]
Drs. Barry Make, Richard Casaburi, and Bruce Bender continue their roundtable discussions about COPD; this time they talk about practical ways to increase physical activity when you have COPD.
How COPD Patients can Reduce the Symptoms of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is one of the less dramatic symptoms that COPD patients sometimes experience, but it is uncomfortable and disruptive nevertheless, especially when it’s severe enough to interrupt your sleep.
The technical word for dry mouth is xerostomia. It can wake you up with the feeling that your tongue, mouth, and throat are completely dried out, making it difficult to swallow. During the day, it might be less severe, but the effect can still cause discomfort and make chewing and swallowing food uncomfortable.
Luckily, in many cases, contributing factors can be identified and controlled, tamping down the dry mouth phenomenon. In other cases, such as when an essential medication causes dry mouth, a change in some daily habits or the use of mouth-moisturizing products can help to significantly reduce your dry mouth symptoms.
Many Patients with Asthma Are Failing to Get the Pneumococcal Vaccine
Several years ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its recommendation for use of the pneumococcal vaccine to include smokers and patients with asthma. Despite that recommendation, many adults with asthma still haven’t received the vaccine, according to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Pneumococcus is a bacteria, and is a major cause of pneumonia.
COPD Can Lead to Anemia, and Anemia Can Worsen COPD Exacerbations
Authors Tim J. McMahon and Ann C. Prybylowski, in their book, Management of Anemia, discuss the relationship between anemia and chronic lung disease. Anemia occurs when the fraction of blood that is occupied by red blood cells decreases. Normally, blood is composed of roughly 40-45% red blood cells Anemia, they state, is relatively common in patients with chronic lung disease such as COPD, especially when there is chronic hypoxemia (low oxygen levels in the blood). Interestingly, when healthy people are exposed to low oxygen levels, the red cell concentration increases. In those with a chronic disease like COPD, a decrease, not an increase in red cell percentage (i.e., anemia) often occurs.