COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) - Treatment Overview
Other ongoing treatment
Treatment for depression. COPD can affect more than your lungs. It
can cause stress, anxiety, and depression. These things take energy and can
make your COPD symptoms worse. But anxiety and depression can be treated with
counseling and medicine. If you feel very sad or anxious, call your
Treatment for muscle weakness and weight loss. Many people with
severe COPD have trouble keeping their weight up and their bodies strong. This
can be treated by paying attention to eating regularly and well.
- COPD: Keeping Your Diet Healthy
- COPD: Avoiding Weight Loss
Pulmonary rehabilitation. Your doctor may also suggest a rehab program that
is just for people with lung problems. It includes activities such as exercise
and breath training.
Treatment if the condition gets worse
COPD gets worse, you may have more shortness of breath
flare-ups. It will become harder to do your daily
pulmonary rehabilitation program, which includes
activities such as exercise and breath training, can help make it possible for
you to do your daily activities.
Other treatment includes:
- Medicines such as
methylxanthines or oral
- Oxygen treatment, which increases the amount of oxygen
in the blood and lungs. This may improve shortness of breath and help people
with severe COPD live longer.
- Oxygen Therapy: Using Oxygen at Home
- Surgery, which is not common. There are several types of
surgery for severe COPD:
- Lung volume reduction surgery removes part of one or both lungs, making room for the remaining
lungs to work better.
- Lung transplant replaces a diseased lung with a living
lung from a person who has recently died.
- Bullectomy removes bullae from the lungs in those who
mainly have emphysema. Bullae are formed when the tiny air sacs in the lungs
break into larger air spaces. They sometimes can become so large that they
interfere with breathing.
Heart failure that affects the right
side of the heart, called
cor pulmonale, often occurs in people with COPD.
Treatment may include oxygen and
What to think about
Treatment for COPD is getting
better all the time. But COPD is a disease that keeps getting worse and can be
fatal. You and your doctor should discuss what types of treatment you want if
sudden, life-threatening breathing problems occur.
may include writing an
advance directive. This is a document that your doctor
and family can use if you become unable to tell them what your wishes are. For
more information, see the topics: