Chronic lung disease affects more than just your lungs. It can affect your quality of life. After all, when even the simplest activity makes you feel winded, doing the things you love – like playing with your grandchildren or taking a walk around a park – becomes difficult.
Fortunately, there may be help. Pulmonary rehabilitation works to build your strength and stamina. It combines three key principles to stabilize and even reverse some of the damage caused by chronic lung disease:
- Breathing retraining to maximize lung function
- Education to increase your understanding and awareness of your lung disease
- Exercise to improve strength and stamina
Do I Need Rehabilitation?
You may benefit from rehabilitation for your lungs if you have a condition such as:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), including Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Lung Cancer
- Pulmonary Fibrosis
- Pulmonary Hypertension
- Preparation or Recovery from Lung Surgery
Goals Of Rehabilitation
Pulmonary rehabilitation is designed to:
- Minimize flare-ups and other symptoms
- Improve your sense of control over your condition
- Teach you when to call the doctor to prevent symptoms from progressing
- Reduce the frequency of unscheduled doctor visits or hospitalizations
- Increase your strength and stamina
- Enhance your quality of life
What Does Pulmonary Rehab Involve?
Your doctor will refer you to Owensboro Health’s pulmonary rehabilitation program. If you stayed in the hospital for respiratory care, your program would begin a few weeks after you return home.
You’ll work with a rehabilitation team that includes doctors, health educators, clinical exercise physiologists, dietitians and nurses.
You’ll exercise at your pace with guidance and encouragement from professionals who monitor your vital signs, oxygen levels - and track your progress. They will also teach you how to exercise and how to perform other desired daily activities safely on your own.
Your pulmonary rehabilitation program includes:
- An exercise plan developed just for you
- Nutrition counseling to help you follow a healthy diet
- Education on using oxygen therapy most effectively
- Breathing retraining exercises and strategies for managing breathing problems