Breathing isn't a matter of course for everybody. One out of every ten Dutchmen is short of breath on a regular base because of asthma, COPD or an allergic condition like hay fever. This number is growing steady.
COPD is a long-term inflammation of the mucous membrane of the bronchial tubes, which leads to chronicle bronchitis or lung emphysema. The most important cause is smoking! Another cause is long-term working with poison-, stone-, and/or metal dust particles in the atmosphere around you. Furthermore, factors like air pollution and heredity have influence. It is a condition that cannot be cured. This causes a lot of insecurity. Therefore a good treatment is important. In most cases different professionals will be called for, such as a family doctor, a specialist, a specialized nurse, home care and a physiotherapist.
Typical complaints are coughing a lot and coughing up slime. You can also have a beep when you breathe and you'll get short of breath quickly during physical exertion. Breathing costs extra energy and is tiring. People with COPD often have airway infections that last relatively long. This can limit those people in their daily functioning at home or at work.
When physical exertion makes you short of breath and this leads to a fit of coughing, it is understandable that you'd rather avoid any form of physical activity. When you have COPD it is very important that you do not get more and more out of shape. When you exercise less, the symptoms will appear sooner and limit your possibilities more and more. Together with the physiotherapist, the professional of daily movement, you will learn how to deal with COPD as good as possible.
Within our clinic we have a special training programme that can help you do this. This can contribute in coughing up slime in a more effective way, learning how to breath better and above all help you in exercising and moving responsibly.
David Turenhout supervises the COPD training programme.
There is collaboration with the Medisch Centrum Haaglanden in the area of coaching of COPD patiënts.