Shortness of breath often limits what people with COPD -- or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) -- can do. When ordinary activities like walking or climbing stairs become difficult, everyday life with COPD gets harder.
Pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD includes a program of exercises that helps people build their physical fitness. Many pulmonary rehab centers also teach people breathing techniques and strategies for living better with COPD.
Don't panic if you start to have a flare-up. If you are prepared, you may be able to get it under control. Work with your doctor to make a plan for dealing with a COPD attack.
Take your medicines as your doctor says:
First, use your quick-relief inhaler. If your symptoms don't get better after you use your medicine, have someone take you to the emergency room. Call an ambulance if needed.
With inhaled medicines, a spacer or a nebulizer may help you get more medicine to your lungs. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to use them properly. Practice using the spacer in front of a mirror before you have a flare-up. This may help you get the medicine into your lungs quickly.
If your doctor has given you steroid pills, take them as directed.