Consumer Health: Treating COPD – | So Good News


COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is the leading cause of disability and death in the US, according to the American Lung Association. More than 12.5 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, but millions more may have the disease without knowing it.

COPD is an inflammatory disease of the lungs that is caused by long-term exposure to bad air or other substances, usually from cigarette smoke. People with COPD are at risk of developing respiratory disease, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and depression. Also, if you have chronic lung disease such as COPD, you may be at risk of severe illness and complications from COVID-19.

COPD symptoms are often not seen until significant lung damage has occurred, and often worsen over time, especially if cigarette smoke continues.

Signs and symptoms of COPD may include:

– Take a break.

– Rest.

– Tightness in the chest.

– Chronic cough that may produce clear, white, yellow or green mucus.

– Frequent respiratory infections.

– Lack of energy.

– Losing weight unintentionally.

– Swelling of the ankles, feet or legs.


If you have been diagnosed with COPD and smoke, it is important that you stop. Most COPD cases in the US are directly related to long-term smoking, and quitting smoking can make COPD worse and reduce your breathing capacity.

Most people with COPD have mild symptoms that require little treatment other than smoking cessation. Even in the advanced stages of the disease, effective treatment is available that can control symptoms, slow down the process, reduce the risk of complications and complications, and increase your ability to live an active life.

Treatment for COPD may include:

– Medicines: Several types of medicines are used to treat the symptoms and complications of COPD. You can take medicine regularly and more as needed. These drugs may include bronchodilators, inhaled steroids, combination inhalers, oral steroids, phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors, theophylline and antibiotics.

– Pulmonary therapy: Pulmonary therapy for people with moderate or severe COPD may include oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation.

– Home ventilator therapy: A ventilator with a mask can help you breathe better and reduce the retention of bad breath that can cause shortness of breath and hospital stays. More research is needed to determine the best ways to use these drugs.

– Coping with exacerbations: Even with continuous treatment, you may experience periods when symptoms worsen for days or weeks. This is called congestion, and it can lead to lung failure if not treated quickly. When exacerbations occur, you may need additional medication, such as antibiotics, steroids or both; supplemental oxygen; or treatment in a hospital. When symptoms begin to worsen, your healthcare team may discuss with you ways to prevent future exacerbations, such as quitting smoking; taking inhaled steroids, long-acting bronchodilators or other medications; getting your annual flu shot; and avoid air pollution whenever possible.

-Surgery: Surgery is an option for some people with another type of emphysema, the COPD type, who are not adequately treated with medication alone. Surgical options may include lung volume reduction, lung transplantation and bullectomy.


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