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10 FAQs About Living With COPD

5. What Are the Treatments for COPD? continued...

COPD treatment may include:

  • Bronchodilators: medicines (often inhaled) that help open up the airways
  • Corticosteroids: medicines that reduce airway inflammation
  • Antibiotics: medicines to help fight bacterial infections
  • Daliresp: an oral drug that inhibits an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE-4); The drug prevents COPD flares in people whose condition is associated with chronic bronchitis only.
  • Flu or pneumonia vaccines: immunizations to reduce the chances of getting the flu or pneumonia
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation: a program of exercise, disease management, and counseling to help you stay as healthy and active as possible
  • Oxygen therapy: extra oxygen to reduce shortness of breath, protect organs, and enhance your quality of life

In severe cases of COPD, the doctor may suggest surgery to remove diseased lung tissue or to replace a diseased lung with a healthy one.

6. What Can I do to Stay Healthier While Living With COPD?

If you're a smoker, of course the most important thing you can do is to stop smoking. These are other things you can do:

  • Stay away from smoke, fumes, dust, and air pollution as much as you can.
  • Take your medication exactly as your doctor prescribes it.
  • See your doctor regularly - at least two times a year.
  • Learn breathing exercises.
  • Walk or do other light exercises several times a week.
  • Eat healthy foods.

 

7. Why is Good Nutrition So Important When You're Living With COPD?

It goes without saying that good nutrition is important for everyone. If you have COPD, a balanced diet can give you more energy and improve your health. People with COPD require more calories than that of a healthy person. That's because it takes much more energy to breathe when you have the disease.

8. What Can I do to Conserve Energy When I Have COPD?

There are many things you can do:

  • Put things you use most often in an easy-to-reach place.
  • Use a small cart on wheels to move things around.
  • Wear clothes and shoes that are easy to put on and take off.
  • Do certain tasks sitting down.
  • Take regular rest breaks.
  • Ask family and friends for help.

 

9. What Are the Complications of Living With COPD?

With COPD, you are more likely to:

  • Get colds, the flu, or pneumonia
  • Have an enlarged heart
  • Have high blood pressure

 

10. When Should I Call for Help?

You should call 911 right away if:

  • You can't walk or talk
  • Your heart beats very fast or it has an irregular beat
  • Your lips or fingernails turn blue
  • You breathe fast and hard, even when on medicines

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on February 12, 2014

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