When you have a disability or chronic illness, one of the most important things you can do is to learn as much as you can about it. The more you know, the easier it should be to get a handle on those days when you feel like it is a constant battle and you are not sure you are winning.
Knowing the language or words that go with COPD/Asthma is a great way to start or to continue to refresh a person’s knowledge of the ins and outs of the lifelong health companion which we are dealing with.
With that, we discuss some of what we call ‘must know words’ of life with COPD/Asthma – and today we will discuss briefly the importance of knowing the word ‘Orthopnea’.
‘Orthopnea’ is used in describing difficulty breathing because of your body position, especially when the SoB (Short of Breath) happens when lying or sleeping while on your back. A person having this difficulty is likely to use several pillows just to be able to breathe better when resting or sleeping.
This kind of disorder can be and should be considered very dangerous and if left untreated can possible cause death while the patient sleeps.
COPD and Asthma patients are commonly found with this sleeping disorder and need to work with it while battling their own individual battle with COPD/Asthma.
‘Orthopnea’ must be taken seriously as it is not only a sign of lungs being congested but also could be giving your warning signals that your heart is not functioning properly. When you lay flat the blood that is in your feet and legs become evenly distributed to your entire body which if you’re healthy is no big deal as the lungs and heart can handle it, but if you’re not healthy it will cause problems with the heart and your lungs will not be able to handle the extra fluids and weight.
To know if your sleeping difficulties are ‘Orthopnea’ a person needs to look for some of the more common signs and symptoms of ‘Orthopnea’ such shortness of breath while lying flat, swollen feet and/or ankles, need of pillows when sleeping and/or laying down and coughing on a regular basis while laying down. Medical folks also say being overweight can also cause ‘Orthopnea’.
Personal Note – This writer, while having been diagnosed with sleep apnea, is familiar with the symptoms of ‘Orthopnea’ because I have fought that difficulty since I was a little kid. Always needing extra pillows and never sleep flat on my back because it would cause a problem for my breathing or asthma and in more recent times with my COPD.
If adjusting your head and/or body’s height so that sleep may remedy ‘Orthopnea’ for a while, but if the difficulty of sleeping continues then you must consult your physician.
With all that, we ask you the readers if you have symptoms of ‘Orthopnea’, how or have you found solutions? As always, we look forward to hearing your input – thanx.
As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.
Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.
With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.
(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer, reprinting or reuse of this article is restricted without written permission.)
NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.
Know that you can follow all the writings by CrossDove Writer pertaining to COPD/Asthma by following at wheezingaway.com or on Facebook at COPD Travels.
(Information gathered from various books and internet sources discussing COPD, Asthma and other lung diseases)