Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive lung condition which also includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is characterized by shortness of breath and a persistent cough, most commonly caused by smoking or environmental lung irritants such as pollution. With the right treatment plan, patients may find symptom relief and continue to enjoy everyday activities.
There is no cure for COPD. Instead, COPD treatment focuses on helping patients breathe better by relieving symptoms. There is no standard treatment for COPD. Instead, there is a standard approach to the disease, which includes trying to understand the severity and type of COPD a patient has. If a patient’s disease is due mostly to emphysema, they will likely be treated differently than a patient whose disease is due mostly to chronic bronchitis.
The following treatments may be used alone or in combination in treating COPD.
The most important step you can take in treating COPD is to quit smoking. Your doctor can help you by recommending programs and products that can help you quit. In addition, joining a support group with other people who are quitting smoking can be very helpful.
You should also avoid secondhand smoke, and places where other lung irritants, such as dust, fumes, or toxic substances, are present as much as possible.
COPD symptoms may make it difficult to eat enough, so your doctor may recommend an eating plan that includes smaller, more frequent meals, eating after resting for a period of time, or vitamins or other nutritional supplements.
Physical activity can help to strengthen the muscles used in breathing and improve your overall wellness. Your doctor can help you determine what kinds of activity are safe for you.
In addition, your doctor might recommend pulmonary rehabilitation, which encompasses a variety of methods designed to improve the well-being of people with chronic breathing problems. Rehab may include an exercise program, training in managing COPD, nutritional counseling, and psychological counseling.
In the following video Dominic Marano, MSN, CRNP, discusses COPD treatment, which can include smoking cessation, medications, and pulmonary rehabilitation: