COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) - Living With COPD
When you manage COPD,
- Quit smoking.
- Take steps to improve your ability to breathe.
- Eat well and stay active.
all you can about COPD.
- Get support from your family and
It's never too late to quit smoking. No matter how long you have had COPD or how serious it is,
quitting smoking will help slow down the disease and improve your quality of
Although lung damage that already has
occurred doesn't reverse, quitting smoking can slow down how quickly your COPD
symptoms get worse.
One Man's Story:
"I tried to quit cold turkey, but after just a few days
I could tell that wasn't going to work. I realized that I needed to try
something else. So I tried the patch, and that made a big difference. I can
feel a difference in my breathing. And I feel hopeful that quitting will give
me a few more years on my feet."—Ned
Read more about how Ned quit smoking.
You may think that nothing can help you quit. But today
there are several treatments shown to be very good at helping people stop
smoking. They include:
Today's medicines offer lots of help for people who want to quit. You
will double your chances of quitting even if medicine is
the only treatment you use to quit, but your odds get even better when you
combine medicine and other quit strategies, such as counseling.9
For more information, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
Make breathing easier
Do all you can to make
- Avoid conditions that may irritate your lungs, such as indoor and outdoor air pollution, smog, cold dry air, hot
humid air, and high altitudes.
- COPD: Avoiding Your Triggers
- Conserve your energy. You may get more tasks done and feel better if you learn to save energy while doing chores and other activities. Take rest breaks and sit down whenever you can while you fold laundry, cook, and do other household tasks. An occupational or
physical therapist can help you find ways to do everyday activities with less
- Stay as active as possible, and get
regular exercise. Try to do activities and exercises that build muscle strength
and help your
cardiovascular system . If you get out of breath, wait until your breathing returns to normal before continuing.
- COPD: Using Exercise to Feel Better
- Learn breath training techniques to
improve airflow in and out of your lungs.
- COPD: Learning to Breathe Easier
- Breathing Exercises: How to Use a Manual Incentive Spirometer
- Learn ways to clear your lungs that can
help you save energy and oxygen.
- COPD: Clearing Your Lungs
- Discuss pulmonary rehabilitationpulmonary rehabilitation with your doctor.
- Take the medicines prescribed by your
doctor. If you use a metered-dose
inhaler (MDI), be sure you know how to use it
- Breathing Problems: Using a Metered-Dose Inhaler
One Man's Story:
"There was a time when I couldn't take 10 steps without
running out of breath. Now I walk an hour around my neighborhood every
day—without needing my oxygen. I feel better than I have in years."—Cal
Find out how Cal was able to build up his strength.