COPD patients should remain as active as possible. This is important despite the need for oxygen therapy. Advances in technology have created a variety of systems. These systems can help those needing oxygen still have an active and healthy lifestyle. Your goal for choosing a system will be to find one that meets your specific needs for mobility and portability. Is should also be efficient and cost-effective. It is important to discuss your needs and situation with your doctor and home...
If you are diagnosed early, before you have a lot of lung damage,
you may have very mild symptoms, even when you are active.
If you are diagnosed later, you may have already lost much of
your lung function.
If you are active, you may be short of breath during activities that didn't used to cause this problem.
If you are not very active, you may not notice how much
shortness of breath you have until your COPD gets worse.
If you have had COPD for many years, you may be short of breath
even when you are at rest. Even simple activities may cause very bad shortness of
It's very important to stop smoking. If you keep smoking after being diagnosed with COPD,
the disease will get worse faster, your symptoms will be worse, and you will
have a greater risk of having other serious health problems.
lung damage that causes symptoms of COPD doesn't heal
and cannot be repaired. But if you have mild to moderate COPD and you stop
smoking, you can slow the rate at which breathing becomes more difficult. You
will never be able to breathe as well as you would have if you had never
smoked, but you may be able to postpone or avoid more serious problems with
What other kinds of medical
treatment do you want, or not want, when you are near the end of
Do you want an
advance directive, which is a legal document that
tells your doctor what treatment you want or don't want if you become unable to
What about palliative care? Palliative (say "PAL-ee-uh-tiv") care
is a kind of care for people who have illnesses that don't go away and that often
get worse over time. It is different from treating your illness.
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 24, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this