One may think it is the end of the world after a diagnosis of COPD. Most people have mild forms of the disease for which little therapy is needed other than smoking cessation. Even for more advanced stages of disease, effective therapy is available that can control symptoms, reduce your risk of complications and exacerbations, and improve your ability to lead an active life. COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a lung disease that makes it very difficult to breathe. This disease is caused by damage to the lungs over a period of time, mainly due to smoking.
COPD gets worse over time. You can’t undo the damage to your lungs. But you can take steps to prevent more damage and to feel better.
- Quit smoking : The best way to slow COPD is to give up smoking. Agreed that it may be difficult, but there is literally no choice left. It is never too late to quit. No matter how long you have smoked or how serious your COPD is, quitting smoking can help stop the damage to your lungs.
- Oxygen Therapy : Some people with COPD may benefit from oxygen therapy. Oxygen therapy is used to ensure there is enough oxygen in the blood to provide for the body’s needs.
- Avoiding infections : People with chronic lung conditions, such as COPD, need to be extremely aware of avoiding viral, bacterial, parasitic, and fungal lung infections, since these conditions make it more difficult for your body to stop and kill invading organisms.
- Lifetsyle changes : If you have COPD, you may have trouble eating enough because of your symptoms, such as shortness of breath and fatigue. As a result, you may not get all of the calories and nutrients you need, which can worsen your symptoms and raise your risk for infections. Adopt a eating plan that will meet your nutritional needs. Your doctor may suggest eating smaller, more frequent meals; resting before eating; and taking vitamins or nutritional supplements.
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program : These programs typically combine education, exercise training, nutrition advice and counseling. You’ll work with a variety of specialists, who can tailor your rehabilitation program to meet your needs. Pulmonary rehabilitation may shorten hospitalizations, increase your ability to participate in everyday activities and improve your quality of life. Talk to your doctor about referral to a program.
There is no specific cure for COPD. But the above mentioned treatment measures will help in preventing more damage to the lungs. Surgery is rarely used for COPD. It’s only considered for people who have severe COPD that has not improved with other treatment. Stay as healthy as you can. Avoid things that can irritate your lungs, such as smoke and air pollution. Make sure you are exercising properly and maintain a proper diet.