Recently, COPD Foundation President and Co-founder John Walsh Read more…
Posts Tagged exacerbations
This blog post was written by Jennifer Jafelice, dedicated to her mother, Read more…
Dear COPD Coach,
I’m confused about what having an exacerbation of my COPD really means. Read more…
Although Susie Wolf, 55, says living on oxygen is difficult, Read more…
You’ve heard of secondhand smoke, but what about third-hand smoke?
Dr. Vinayak Jha of GW Hospital says that third-hand smoke “passing from room to room carries the same dangers as breathing secondhand smoke.”
“Ventilation systems and A/C systems do not remove the smaller particles or the gases found in secondhand smoke,” the doctor was quoted as saying in this September 9, 2010 article by Chelsea Radler.
According to an article in Scientific American by Coco Ballantyne, “While some students interviewed said they did not worry about the health concerns of third-hand smoke, the hazards of consistent exposure are widely acknowledged by the medical community.”
Radler quotes Dr. Jha saying, “The reason that non-smoking workplace laws have been passed in 27 states and in D.C. is because the evidence is so strong that secondhand smoke causes and exacerbates disease in non-smoking bystanders.”
In the Scientific American article it quotes Jonathan Winickoff, a pediatrician at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Boston, “Third-hand smoke is tobacco smoke contamination that remains after a cigarette has been
According to this article, Winickoff published a study in the journal Pediatrics, which says “a large number of people, particularly smokers, have no idea that third-hand smoke—the cocktail of toxins that linger in carpets, sofas, clothes and other materials hours or even days after a cigarette is put out—is a health hazard for infants and children.”
From the article:
Third-hand smoke refers to the tobacco toxins that build up over time—one cigarette will coat the surface of a certain room [a second cigarette will add another coat, and so on]. The third-hand smoke is the stuff that remains [after visible or "second-hand smoke" has dissipated from the air]…. You can’t really quantify it, because it depends on the space…. In a tiny space like a car the deposition is really heavy…. Smokers [may] smoke in another room or turn on a fan. They don’t see the smoke going into a child’s nose; they think that if they cannot see it, it’s not affecting [their children].
Smokers themselves are also contaminated…smokers actually emit toxins [from clothing and hair].
What are your thoughts? Do you believe third-hand smoke is a potential and actual threat?
With the bitter cold in the air and being in the midst of flu season, sometimes it may be hard to tell if your cough is the flu or just a cold. And since both can exacerbate COPD, it’s important to be able to distinguish the differences.
According to WebMD, colds “usually begin abruptly with a sore throat followed by symptoms such as clear, watery nasal drainage; sneezing; fatigue; and sometimes a low-grade fever.”
“A mild cough is a common cold symptom. The cough won’t get much worse, but this common cold symptom is likely to last into the second week of your cold. If you suffer with asthma or other lung problem, a cold may make it worse. If you are coughing up dark mucus — or if you are feeling a lot of distress in the lower parts of your lungs — you may have a bacterial infection. It’s a good idea to touch base with your doctor to find out if you need to be seen.
Usually, there is no fever with common cold symptoms. In fact, fever and more severe symptoms may indicate that you have the flu and not a cold.”
With the flu, people might feel very weak and fatigued for up to two or three weeks.
“You’ll have muscle aches and periods of chills and sweats as fever comes and goes. You may also have a stuffy or runny nose, headach, and sore throat,” according to WebMD.
WebMD also lays out the differences between having a cold and the flu.
The American Lung Association also has a flu vaccine finder to make it easier to find flu shots in your area.
This blog also has great tips for COPDers to prevent the flu.
To avoid the flu and colds, doctors recommend eating healthy foods to strengthen your immune system. These include more vegetables and fruits, adding garlic to your meals, drinking fruit juices, yogurt, warm liquid as well as minimizing candy and fast food.
This blog describes herbal or natural remedies for the flu/colds.
Make sure you consult your doctor before making any drastic changes, or if you have any questions about what’s best for you.