Health & Wellness

10 FAQS About Living With COPD

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It refers to two long-term lung diseases — chronic bronchitis and emphysema — that often occur together. COPD makes it difficult for you to breathe. There is no cure for COPD, but you can take steps to manage the disease.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with COPD, you probably have many questions. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about living with COPD, its symptoms, treatment, and causes.

1. What Happens to My Lungs if I Have COPD?

Tubes, called airways, carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have COPD, these airways may become partly blocked from swelling or mucus. This makes it more difficult to breathe.

At the end of the airways are many tiny balloon-like air sacs, which inflate and deflate when you breathe in and out. With COPD, these air sacs lose their elasticity. This can lead to the collapse of small airways and also make it more difficult for you to breathe.

2. What Causes COPD?

Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of COPD. Being around other smokers also plays a role in an individual developing COPD.

Other causes of COPD include long-term exposure to other irritants, such as:

  • Chemicals
  • Dust
  • Air pollution

In rare cases, genes may play a role in COPD. People who lack a protein called alpha 1 antitrypsin may be more likely to develop the disease. Without the protein, their lungs are more vulnerable to developing COPD. If they are smokers, their disease tends to progress more quickly.

3. What Are the Signs and Symptoms of COPD?

These are the most common COPD symptoms:

  • A cough that doesn’t go away.
  • Coughing up lots of mucus.
  • Shortness of breath, especially with activity.
  • Wheezing.
  • Tightness in the chest.
  • Limitations in activity.

4. How is COPD Diagnosed?

To diagnose COPD, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, do a physical exam, and conduct breathing tests.

The most common breathing test used to confirm a diagnosis of COPD is spirometry. This easy, painless test involves breathing into a large hose connected to a machine, called a spirometer. The spirometer measures how much air your lungs can hold and how fast you can blow air out of your lungs.

Your doctor may suggest additional tests to rule out other lung problems, such as asthma or heart failure, or to plan treatment. These may include other lung function tests, a chest X-ray, or a test to measure the level of oxygen in your blood.

5. What Are the Treatments for COPD?

The goal of COPD treatment is to ease your symptoms, slow the progress of COPD, prevent or treat any complications, and improve your overall quality of life

COPD treatment may include:

  • Bronchodilators: medicines (often inhaled) that help open up the airways.
  • Corticosteroids: medicines that reduce airway inflammation.
  • Antibiotics: medicines to help fight bacterial infections.
  • Daliresp: an oral drug that inhibits an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE-4). The drug prevents COPD flares in people whose condition is associated with chronic bronchitis only.
  • Flu or pneumonia vaccines: immunizations to reduce the chances of getting the flu or pneumonia.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation: a program of exercise, disease management, and counseling to help you stay as healthy and active as possible.
  • Oxygen therapy: extra oxygen to reduce shortness of breath, protect organs, and enhance your quality of life.

In severe cases of COPD, the doctor may suggest surgery to remove diseased lung tissue or to replace a diseased lung with a healthy one.

6. What Can I do to Stay Healthier While Living With COPD?

If you’re a smoker, of course the most important thing you can do is to stop smoking. These are other things you can do:

  • Stay away from smoke, fumes, dust, and air pollution as much as you can.
  • Take your medication exactly as your doctor prescribes it.
  • See your doctor regularly – at least two times a year.
  • Learn breathing exercises.
  • Walk or do other light exercises several times a week.
  • Eat healthy foods.

7. Why is Good Nutrition So Important When You’re Living With COPD?

It goes without saying that good nutrition is important for everyone. If you have COPD, a balanced diet can give you more energy and improve your health. People with COPD require more calories than that of a healthy person. That’s because it can takes much more energy just to breathe when you have the disease.

8. What Can I do to Conserve Energy When I Have COPD?

There are many things you can do:

  • Put things you use most often in an easy-to-reach place.
  • Use a small cart on wheels to move things around.
  • Wear clothes and shoes that are easy to put on and take off.
  • Do certain tasks sitting down.
  • Take regular rest breaks.
  • Ask family and friends for help.

9. What Are the Complications of Living With COPD?

With COPD, you are more likely to:

  • Get colds, the flu, or pneumonia.
  • Have an enlarged heart.
  • Have high blood pressure.

10. When Should I Call for Help?

You should call 911 right away if:

  • You can’t walk or talk.
  • Your heart beats very fast or it has an irregular beat.
  • Your lips or fingernails turn blue.
  • You breathe fast and hard, even when on medicines.

AMAC recommends that you always consult your personal physician before making any health care decisions.

 

 

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8 Comments on "10 FAQS About Living With COPD"

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sherri graves
17 hours 26 minutes ago
I’m Sherri Graves,am so happy to say DR ABUMERE has done it again,he cured me and my husband from hepatitis b,now he just cured my uncle from COPD ,My uncle is now living COPD FREE, me and my husband was diagnosed with Hepatitis b in 2011,then my uncle was diagnosed of COPD 2013, my doctor said there’s no cure for Hepatitis b and COPD.we spent a lot of money on medication till one day , I saw someone post about Dr ABUMERE ,so many people was talking about His herbal medicine that he cures different kinds of deadly diseases including hepatitis b and COPD,so decided to try ,so i contacted him via his email.abumereherbalcentre(at)gmail(dot)com,so he replied me,and told me that he will cure me within 4 weeks ,then i purchased the herbal medicine and he sent the herbal medicine to me via courier service,which i received within 2days.so after 4… Read more »
Maria Whetzel
5 months 9 days ago

Thank you Claudia for the information, i ordered the herbs i received it days ago

Claudia
5 months 22 days ago

(MUST READ: HOW I GOT CURED FROM COPD)
My name is Claudia Kosa I thought i should share this here as someone may need this information; I was diagnosed of COPD in February 2015, my doctor told me it has no permanent cure, i was given inhaler to help relax my airway and other medications to ease the situation, this continued till a friend of mine Anna Burke told me about Dr Ejiro from South Africa who cured her father of COPD and Glaucoma. I contacted this herbal doctor via his email and bought the herbal medicine from him, i received it within 6 days and applied it as prescribed and was totally cured within 19 days of usage. my life is back again! Contact this herbal doctor via his email ejiroherbalcure(at)gmail(dot)com or call/whatsapp +27617403481 (Write the email in the right format)

Virginia
4 years 6 months ago

I was told that sitting in a steam room for 15-20 minutes helps clear air way and lungs. Is this true?

Don Jackson
4 years 6 months ago

Since being diagnoised as having emphysema 19 and a half years ago, I swim at least 20 minutes almost every day and that along with my inhalers, Symbicort twice daily and an Albuterol generic about once daily, have helped me live a near normal life. I’ll be 77 September 1st and with my present life style, including daily prayers, I’m affirming to be going fairly good for at least another 19 years. Bless you all.

Bob D
4 years 6 months ago
I have COPD and have been treated for lung cancer on four seperate occassions. I can not be operated on, must take medicine and use Oxygen when not at rest. I catch flack from my wife, kids and friends because I still strive to do things I did before I got sick. They want me to sit in my chair and be waited on. Ain’t going to happen! I believe it’s very important to do as much of your normal routine as possible. Life is what it is and if one decides to not fight then they are – in my opinion – existing, not living. There will come a time when I must accept all the help and care I can get but until that time I intend to carry on as best as I can. Help and encourage people live a life not just exist.
Fern Riddle
4 years 6 months ago

No, it isn’t a fungal infection. In COPD, the air sacs die and cannot be recovered, therefore, it cannot be cured. And air sacs continue to die over the course of the disease so breathing gets harder. If your wife was told she had COPD and was completely cured, then she was misdiagnosed in the first place.

MIKE
4 years 6 months ago

Has anyone ever thought that this may be a fungal infection? The doctors would not but my wife was treated for Sarcoidosis with steroids for years, to no avail. We went to a clinical Nutritionist, she treated this condition as fungal and cleared up the Sarcoidosis in nine weeks. Something the specialists couldn’t do for over five years! Its now been over five years, without any medication period. May be worth a visit, just a thought.

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