Health & Wellness

10 FAQS About Living With COPD – Symptoms, Treatment and Causes

COPD - AMACCOPD 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.

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!

Sign Up Today

19
Leave a Reply

19 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
17 Comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Bob D

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.

Don Jackson

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.

Fern Riddle

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.

Ivanna santino

 I’m 59 years old and female. I was diagnosed a couple of years ago with COPD and I was beyond scared! My lung function test indicated 49% capacity. After having had flu a year ago, the shortness of breath, coughing and chest pains continued even after being treated with antibiotics. I’ve been smoking two packs a day for 36 years. Being born without a sternum caused my ribs to be curled in just one inch away from my spine, resulting to underdeveloped lungs. At age 34 I had surgery and it was fixed. Unfortunately my smoking just caused more damage to my already under developed lungs. The problem was having is that I enjoy smoking and don’t want to give up! Have tried twice before and nearly went crazy and don’t want to go through that again. I saw the fear in my husband and children’s eyes when I told them about my… Read more »

felix lina

I am not sure of the cause of COPD emphysema in my case. I smoked pack a day for 12 or 13 years, but quit 40 years ago. I have been an outdoor person all my adult life. Coughing started last summer producing thick mucus, greenish tint to clear. I tried prednisone and antibiotics, but no change. X-rays are negative, heart lungs and blood and serum chemistries all are normal. I have lung calcification from childhood bout with histoplasmosis. I am 75 years old and retired.My current doctor directed me to totalcureherbsfoundation which I purchase the COPD herbal remedies from them ,they are located in Johannesburg, the herbal treatment has effectively reduce all my symptoms totally, am waiting to complete the 15 weeks usage because they guaranteed me total cure.

felix lina

I am not sure of the cause of COPD emphysema in my case. I smoked pack a day for 12 or 13 years, but quit 40 years ago. I have been an outdoor person all my adult life. Coughing started last summer producing thick mucus, greenish tint to clear. I tried prednisone and antibiotics, but no change. X-rays are negative, heart lungs and blood and serum chemistries all are normal. I have lung calcification from childhood bout with histoplasmosis. I am 75 years old and retired.My current doctor directed me to totalcureherbsfoundation com which I purchase the COPD herbal remedies from them ,they are located in Johannesburg, the herbal treatment has effectively reduce all my symptoms totally, am waiting to complete the 15 weeks usage because they guaranteed me total cure.

Claudia

(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)

MIKE

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.

Reggie Manfred

My name is Reggie Manfred, I’m from United State GA. I was diagnosed of Emphysema (COPD) in 2018 and I have tried all possible means to get cured, i even visited pulmonologist but all to no avail, until i saw a post in a health forum about a herbal doctor from Africa who prepare herbal medicine to cure all kind of diseases including Emphysema, at first i doubted if it was real but decided to give it a try, when i contacted this herbal doctor via their website, he sent me the Emphysema herbal medicine through courier service, when i received this herbal medicine, he gave me step by instructions on how to apply it, when i applied it as instructed i was totally cured of this deadly disease within 5 weeks of usage, if you are suffering of this diseases you can as well Contact this great herbal doctor… Read more »

moore steven

I got diagnosed with hpv, i have be dealing with this mess for the past 7yrs. On till i got review online about natural cure people testifies how they got cured with natural treatment. And i order the treatment, after taking it for two weeks i totally got cured with herbal treatment. I’m recommending you diagnosis with hpv should get this treatment via; dronokunherbalcure@gmail.com or whatsapp call.. +2349064844957

tommy parker

6 months ago I was diagnosed with COPD with 55-60% lung capacity. My doctor just said all the crying , stomping your feet will not change it so just accept it and basically patted me on the back and sent me home to die. I was devastated and was afraid to do anything. I stopped riding my bike, I was afraid to do anything that would cause any exertion. It consumed my thoughts with every breath and the fear of what to expect was almost more than I could deal with. So I couldn’t get myself all time I decided to find a herbal cure online and I came acrose Doctor Itua on how he cure several people suffering from Hiv, and Herpes I gave him a call on this Number +2348149277967 also chat on whatsapp he gave me all the details about the cure i paid him for the… Read more »

Kathy Venery

I was diagnosed as Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) carrier after tests were done to investigate my immune system. I had Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) of the Lungs already present. I started treatment with Bronchodilator which Helps open the airways of the lungs to make breathing easier and Steroid which Modifies or simulates hormone effects, often to reduce inflammation or for tissue growth and repair. After a couple of years the virus became resistant and i decided to try a more natural approach to treat the virus, so i started on Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD)Herbal formula treatment from solutions herbal clinic, this natural (COPD) treatment totally reversed my condition. I did another blood test after the 2 months treatment and tested negative to the virus. Go to health med lab clinic official email solutionsherbalclinic gmail com, This treatment is a breakthrough for all (COPD) carriers.Their natural herbs are very effective… Read more »

ryn jacop

2016 I was told I had mild emphysema, and COPD. I was shocked, I had only had minor breathing problems at times. However I had smoked for 17 years when I was very young and had quit over 38 years ago, when I developed asthma. I always heard your lungs were cleared 5 years after you quit smoking,If not for total cure herbal treatment i would”ve still be at oxygen all time,the herbal remedies has terminate the the symptoms and im fully cured of this disease in only 15 weeks of usage,the ,breathing difficulty has fully relief me and i started sleeping like a baby again after the first three weeks of usage,do not hesitate to contact them on this address and place your order because the herbal foundation has the right formula for this lung diseases http://www.totalcureherbsfoundation. com

Pamela Wayans

I have had ASTHMA my whole life but about 7 years ago my asthma got so bad and was diagnosed of EMPHYSEMA/COPD which was most likely due to the asthma. I was on double antibiotics and steroids, still didn’t feel any better. My lungs were constantly wheezing in all four chambers, i already used Advair, Spiriva, and Albuterol in my nebulizer, they just didn’t do much. It was hell for me due to the severe difficulty breathing. My sister in-law told us about Rich Herbs Foundation where she ordered herbs that effectively treated her arthritis. We ordered their COPD TREATMENT after reading alot of positive reviews from other patients, i am happy to report the COPD TREATMENT was very effective for my lungs condition, every one of my symptoms including difficulty breathing, respiratory infections, chronic cough and wheezing has simply stopped. Visit www. richherbsfoundation. com. I will be 52 soon… Read more »

alexeshayd

(MUST READ) I am Alexes Hayden, i purchased chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) herbal remedy from a herbal health clinic in South Africa (NewLife Herbal clinic), it really helped me. I was diagnosed of COPD in Elisabeth-bruyère Hospital Ottawa Canada in August 2014. In June 2016, I had COPD exacerbation, my condition worsened and the doctors could not help me, the Flovent HFA and antibiotics prescribed stopped working, it was a terrible experience i had, so my wife reached out for an alternative treatment. My wife’s co-worker who had initially bought pulmonary fibrosis herbal remedy from New Life herbal clinic referred us to them for help. We contacted them via their website and purchased the COPD herbal remedy, i immediately commenced usage as soon as i received it, it worked miraculously, my airways are repaired. Visit www(dot)newlifeherbalclinic(dot)weebly(dot)com or email newlifeherbalclinic(at)gmail(dot)com (Please write email/website in right format) I did promised i… Read more »

sherri graves

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

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

Virginia

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

SHIRLEYHECHE

I was diagnosed of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in summer of 2014, my symptoms started out with shortness of breath and chronic cough. The pulmonary disease specialist prescribed me some medications to help my symptoms however the medications did no good and their side effects were too severe. In May 2016, i started on NewLife Herbal Clinic COPD Herbal formula treatment, i read alot of positive reviews on their success rate with the COPD Herbal formula and i immediately started on the treatment. Just 11 weeks into the Herbal formula treatment I had great improvements with my breathing, there is no case of dyspnea and chest tightness since treatment, visit NewLife Herbal Clinic official website www. newlifeherbalclinic. com or email info@ newlifeherbalclinic. com. This treatment is incredible!

Shirley Heche