Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is a chronical lung disease. COPD is not curable, but it can be treated. The symptoms of COPD include a persistent cough with mucus, shortness of breath, and trouble breathing. The severity of COPD can differ, but once lung damage occurs it is not reservable.
However, the symptoms can be relieved, and the progression of your COPD can be slowed with certain treatments. Living with COPD can be very uncomfortable, learn what you can do to improve your quality of life and improve your health.
1. Quit Smoking
COPD is most commonly caused by smoking. If you haven’t already, quit smoking immediately. Smoking will speed up the progression of your COPD, flare up symptoms, and decrease overall lung function. Whether or not your COPD is far along, stop smoking immediately to keep the problem from only getting worse.
2. Lifestyle Changes
Changing your lifestyle can help to strengthen your lungs. Though your COPD will not go away, its progression will be slowed down when your lungs are healthier, and you improve your overall health. Staying active, participating in breathing exercises, and following good nutritional practice. Staying away from anything that could further your lung damage is also a good idea.
Meaning avoids any smoke, second-hand smoke, and anywhere with poor air quality. Being in these situations could flare up your COPD and cause more lung damage. Slow the decline of your lung function when you give your lungs a little more ability to fight back. Do what you can strength the undamaged parts of your lungs to combat the diseased parts of your lungs.
There are no medications that can reverse the damage of COPD but they can help to open airways, reduce inflammation, and fight bacterial infections—making your COPD a little more manageable.
Among the medications that can treat COPD, there are bronchodilators. These medications could help to make breathing a little easier and lessen the number of episodes that are common in COPD patients.
There is also corticosteroids— this medication can bring down the inflammation in your airways. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to treat any possible bacterial infection in your system.
4. Oxygen Treatment
With severe COPD, patients often suffer from low levels of oxygen in their blood. Low levels of oxygen in the bloodstream means that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen overall.
Oxygen treatment means you will have an oxygen tank that will help you to receive the oxygen you need. A portable oxygen concentrator or POC can give you oxygen through a flexible nasal tube or face mask. Many POCs come in compact sizes to allow you flexibility in living your life with an oxygen tank.
Patients with significant lung damage and severe COPD may be eligible for surgery. This surgery can be risky and is usually only considered in the worst cases. There is a surgery called lung volume reduction surgery that removes sections of damaged lung tissue. A lung transplant can also be done to replace a diseased lung with a healthy lung.
If you have any questions concerning your treatment options, please don't hesitate to contact us!