Living with a lung condition

When you are diagnosed with a lung condition, it’s likely that you’ll have lots of questions.

As well as thinking about the condition itself – what treatment options are available to you and how you will manage the symptoms, for example – you might well have concerns about how to cope with the impact your lung condition will have on your day-to-day life.

Living with a lung condition doesn’t mean life has to stop, but it will inevitably affect you in different ways. For example, you might have to think about your diet and how the weather affects your symptoms. You may also be wondering how to approach activities that typically trigger breathlessness, like exercise and sex, and whether you’ll still be able to travel and do the things you’ve always enjoyed.

Many people also find their mood and way of thinking changes. It’s not uncommon for someone with a long-term condition to feel depressed or anxious, or to worry about work and finances.

This section aims to address all of these concerns – and many more that you may have. It contains lots of useful information about living with a lung condition and how to make the most of life.

Depression and anxiety - learn more about depression and anxiety, the differences between them, how to cope with feeling depressed and anxious, and where you can turn to for help.

Healthy eating – how to eat a balanced and nutritious diet to keep you well and help you fight infections and what to do if you are struggling with your weight.

Weather and your lungs – learn about how different types of weather can affect your lungs and how to stay well in extremes of weather.

Travel – find out about how you can plan and enjoy a relaxing holiday in the UK or abroad and gather lots of helpful tips on insurance, travelling with oxygen and travelling by plane.

Going home from hospital – a handy 18-point guide of things to think about when you are discharged after a flare up of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that will help you and your family get through this challenging time.

Getting the best from your doctor – tips and advice for making the most of your appointments with your doctor or health care professional and how to get the answers you need.

Sex and breathlessness – some useful advice on how to enjoy a fulfilling intimate relationship with your partner despite the effects of your lung condition.

Your rights – information about benefits and other sources of financial support you might be entitled to including whether you might be eligible for compensation for occupational lung disease.

Exercise – lots of advice and information about how to lead an active life and exercise safely with a lung condition, including classes and resources near where you live.

What should I expect? – we've produced four guides explaining what you, your family, friends and carers can expect from four different aspects of your care. Download and order them here.

If you are worried about anything or have any other questions that aren’t answered here, you can call the British Lung Foundation Helpline on 03000 030 555. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm, and calls are charged at a local rate.