Living With Pulmonary Fibrosis
Lifestyle changes may make living with PF easier. There are a number of things people with PF can do on a regular basis to maintain or improve their quality of life, including doing some gentle exercise, adopting a healthy diet, resting as necessary, quitting smoking, using relaxation techniques to reduce stress, joining a support group, and getting help from healthcare professionals.
As breathing becomes difficult, it can affect PF patients’ ability to travel or enjoy a vacation. Traveling with PF may be difficult, but it’s certainly not impossible, and it can be made easier with some preparation. Determining if it’s safe to fly and carrying a portable oxygen concentrator on the plane is important. Additionally, watching your diet and limiting your salt intake while eating out is also helpful.
Coping With Breathlessness
Breathlessness can be a frightening symptom of PF. Adjusting the type and speed of activities can help patients manage breathlessness. Most of the time, performing an activity a little slower than usual may be enough to control the breathing rate. Knowing when to stop and start an activity is an important asset in managing breathlessness.
Emotional Issues and Support
Over time, patients with PF may develop emotional problems such as fear, anxiety, stress, or depression. Talking with a healthcare team or a professional counselor may help manage these issues. Interaction with other patients via support groups also may help patients cope with the condition. Family and friends can also help relieve stress.