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The latest tips to hep prevent COPD

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Prevention

The main symptom of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inability to breathe in and out properly, otherwise known as airflow obstruction. COPD is the name for a group of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive airways disease.


  • Chronic bronchitis: bronchitis means 'inflammation of the bronchi'. Inflammation caused by the likes of smoking damage increases mucus produced in the airways which causes the classic COPD cough.
  • Emphysema: this is where the alveoli (air sacs) in the lungs lose their elasticity causing them to get narrower. It also means the lungs are not as good at getting oxygen into the body, so the patient must breathe harder. This can result in shortness of breath.

Preventing COPD


Give up smoking

While much of the damage may have been done if smoking long enough, stopping smoking slows down disease progression. If symptoms of COPD are mild, stopping smoking may be all that is needed to significantly improve.

Get regular exercise

Regular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs and improves breathing. Build up gradually if not used to exercising. The aim is to do a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day, at least five times a week.  Try losing weight (if overweight) because extra weight can make breathlessness worse.

Eat a balanced diet

A balanced diet helps the immune system and will help fight off infection. Plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least 5-a-day) and reduced fat, sugar, and salt will help.

Drink plenty of fluids

Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, to help to reduce the amount of mucus and phlegm in the throat and lungs.

Use a steam inhalator or humidifier

A steam inhalator or humidifier can be used at home to help to reduce and clear excess mucus and phlegm.


Physiotherapy can be used to clear excess mucus from the airways.


 1st Contact Physio with Chartered Physiotherapist, Kevin D’Arcy. MISCP. Located in the private consultation suite, upstairs at Whelehans Pharmacy, 38 Pearse St, Mullingar


1st Contact Physio services includes COPD management, sports injuries, spinal injuries, back pain management, neck, and shoulder pain, post operative physiotherapy, sports rehabilitation, orthotics, and sports massage. Physiotherapy is €60 for initial session and €50 for follow up sessions, Kevin offers reduced physiotherapy rates for Medical Card holders, children, and sports clubs. Book your appointment on the Whelehans website or Call Kevin on 0873813473 or Email


Get vaccinated

Patients with COPD are at greater risk of catching other illnesses, such as influenza (flu) and Covid-19 so should get vaccinated. Whelehans Pearse St offer a weekly walk in Covid-19 booster clinic. You can get your Flu vaccine and Covid Booster on the same day at Whelehans Pharmacy. Whelehans Pharmacy Clonmore offer the Flu vaccine too. You can book conveniently on the Whelehans website (€5 off flu if booked online but many groups including those with COPD are free of charge). Kids flu vaccines (2 to 12 years) are available too.


For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). Email queries to Find us on Facebook.

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