What Medical Options Do People with COPD Really Have?
“People with Copd can turn to a wide range of organizations to receive treatment; their availability, of course, is dependent on each individual’s chosen health" - Neal Richman PHD, Director of Programs and advocacy, BreatheLA
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is defined by the U.S. National Library of Medicine as a lung disease that affects a patient''s ability to breathe. The two main types of COPD are bronchitis and emphysema: Chronic bronchitis is a persistent cough with the presence of mucus,while emphysema is the breakdown of the lungs over time. Symptoms include wheezing, fatigue,regular respiratory infections, shortness of breath that worsens with light activity and a cough, with or without the presence of mucus.
The main cause of COPD is exposure to hazardous fumes, mainly as a smoker or someone exposed to secondhand smoke. available options Patients can work with different specialistsincluding physical therapists and respiratory therapists.
Treatments can help patients live a longer, more active life and prevent further damage to their heart or other organs.
While changes in lifestyle, such as diet and exercise (also known as pulmonary rehabilitation) can help with improving COPD symptoms,regular medications may be required, according to the Mayo Clinic. Bronchodilators, usually in the form of inhalers, are one of the most common treatments used prior to activities as well as daily regular use.
The medication relaxes the muscles found in your airways to make breathing easier. Those suffering from moderate or severe COPD may be prescribed corticosteroids. When inhaled, these medications reduce any swelling in your airway. Oxygen therapy brings more oxygen into your blood and is an option for patients with severe COPD. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, COPD patients should consider being vaccinated for influenza and pneumonia, due to their greater risk of contracting these conditions. How they can help The Mayo Clinic states that COPD symptoms can be managed, but any damage to your lungs cannot be reversed.
These and other treatments can help improve your quality of life and decrease your risk of complications. In the most severe cases, surgery is also a treatment option. COPD symptoms can be worsened by infections such as pneumonia or the flu. Antibiotics can be used to treat infections and prevent further complications. Longterm use of inhaled steroids can also lead to brittle bones, cataracts, high blood pressure or diabetes.
Treatments can help patients live a longer, more active life and prevent further damage to their heart or other organs. Talking to their physician can help patients determine which treatments are right for them.