Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

If you're recovering from ARDS, the following suggestions can help protect your lungs:

  • Quit smoking. If you smoke, seek help to quit, and avoid secondhand smoke whenever possible.
  • Get vaccinated. The yearly flu (influenza) shot, as well as the pneumonia vaccine every five years, can reduce your risk of lung infections.

Coping and support

Recovery from ARDS can be a long road, and you'll need plenty of support. Although everyone's recovery is different, being aware of common challenges encountered by others with the disorder can help. Consider these tips:

  • Ask for help. Particularly after you're released from the hospital, be sure you have help with everyday tasks until you know what you can manage on your own.
  • Attend pulmonary rehabilitation. Many medical centers now offer pulmonary rehabilitation programs, which incorporate exercise training, education and counseling to help you learn how to return to your normal activities and achieve your ideal weight.
  • Join a support group. There are support groups for people with chronic lung problems. Discover what's available in your community or online and consider joining others with similar experiences.
  • Seek professional help. If you have symptoms of depression, such as hopelessness and loss of interest in your usual activities, tell your doctor or contact a mental health professional. Depression is common in people who have had ARDS, and treatment can help.