7 Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor About COPD
Understanding your COPD diagnosis is essential but can feel overwhelming, so here are some questions you should ask your doctor about COPD.
It’s hard to know where to start and what questions to ask, which is why it’s absolutely critical that you ask your doctor the right questions. Doing this will help you stay informed and understand what you can do to maintain your health and stop your COPD from worsening. Ask your doctor the following questions to make sure you’re in the loop concerning your COPD and learn how you can stay as healthy as possible.
#1 What Is COPD and What Caused Mine?
Understanding what COPD is and what caused yours plays a big part in ensuring it does not worsen. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases that make breathing difficult. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the most common conditions under the COPD umbrella. Symptoms can include shortness of breath, chronic coughing, or wheezing. The damage caused is irreversible; therefore, it is essential to know what caused your COPD so that it does not progress. COPD almost always comes from damaging lung irritants. The number one cause of COPD in the US is smoking. Other irritants include second-hand smoke, dust and debris, air pollution, and chemical fumes. These irritants can be found outside, at home, or your place of work. It is crucial to avoid these irritants. If you smoke, you should quit immediately.
#2 What Stage Is My COPD?
As you ask your doctor about COPD, make sure you fully understand which stage you are in or approaching. Knowing which stage of the four stages you are in COPD will help your doctor determine how to treat your condition. They will likely conduct a spirometry test, which will determine the severity of your COPD.
#3 What Can I Do to Keep My COPD from Worsening?
Once you know what caused your COPD, you can stop exposure to the irritant immediately, which will help improve your lung health and can keep it from worsening. If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking. If you’ve been exposed to an irritant that you cannot get rid of entirely, you should limit your exposure as much as possible. It is important to stay active and exercise regularly. You and your doctor will work together to find the best plan for your situation. There are breathing exercises and techniques called Pulmonary Rehabilitation; you can do to improve your breathing muscles. Depending on your stage and condition, your doctor may prescribe oxygen therapy. This helps improve your oxygen intake and can help you live a normal life without feeling breathless.
#4 Do I Need Oxygen Therapy?
Depending on the stage of your COPD, you may benefit from oxygen therapy. Ask your doctor about COPD and how oxygen therapy might help you live more freely. Through several tests, your doctor will determine whether or not oxygen therapy is right for you. If the tests show that you are not getting enough oxygen, your doctor may recommend oxygen therapy to improve your oxygen levels.
#5 Would Pulmonary Rehabilitation Benefit Me?
If you are responding well to other treatments, your doctor may suggest pulmonary rehabilitation also.
#6 Am I Using My Medication/Oxygen Equipment Correctly?
To get the most out of your treatment, make sure you use your medications and oxygen equipment exactly how the doctor instructed you to do so. If you feel that your treatment is not working, it could be because you are not using your medications correctly. If you have any questions or concerns, you must talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
#7 How Can I Continue Living My Normal Life
COPD develops slowly, and there is plenty of steps you can take to manage it effectively. Sure, COPD will affect your life, but if you take good care of yourself, follow your doctor's recommendations, and take your medications as prescribed, you can continue living your life as usual.
O2 Assist Can Help
When you ask your doctor about COPD, the chances are that they will tell you to consider using an oxygen concentrator. At O2 Assist, we provide you with both portable and at-home oxygen concentrator options backed by a customer support team that goes above and beyond to make your experience with our concentrators easier than ever. If you’re living with COPD and ready to live a better life, talk to your doctor today to determine an oxygen concentrator that is suitable for your lifestyle, then shop our online store to browse our wide selection of portable and stationary concentrators!
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