|• Constant coughing, sometimes
called a “smokers cough”
• Shortness of breath while doing activities you
used to be able to do
• Excess sputum production
• Feeling like you can't breathe
• Not being able to take a deep breath
When COPD is severe, shortness of breath and other
symptoms can get in the way of doing even the most
basic tasks, such as doing light housework, taking a
walk, even bathing and getting dressed.
COPD develops slowly, and can worsen over time. Be sure to report any symptoms you might have to your doctor as soon as possible, no matter how mild
they may seem.
DIAGNOSIS OF COPD
Spirometry is a simple breathing test that measures
the amount of air a person can blow out of their
lungs and how fast he or she can blow out the air.
Your doctor can tell if you have COPD and its
severity with spirometry testing, and a thorough
Early detection of COPD might alter its course and
PREVENTION AND BETTER HEALTH
If you are at risk for COPD take action with things
you can do. Such as:
If you smoke, the best thing you can do to prevent
more damage to your lungs is to quit. There are many
online resources and several aids available through
AVOID EXPOSURE TO POLLUTANTS
Try to stay away from other sources which could
irritate your lungs, such as dust and strong fumes.
Stay indoors when the outside air quality is poor.
You should also stay away from places where there
might be cigarette smoke.
VISIT YOUR DOCTOR ON A REGULAR BASIS
See your doctor regularly even if you're feeling
fine. Make a list of your breathing difficulty
symptoms and any activities you can no longer do
because of shortness of breath. Be sure to bring a
list of all the medicines you are taking to each
TAKE PRECAUTIONS AGAINST THE FLU
Do your best to avoid crowds during flu season. It is
also a good idea to get a flu shot every year, since
the flu can cause serious problems for people with COPD. You should also ask your doctor about the
TREATMENT OF COPD
Treatment of COPD requires evaluation and treatment
by a physician. A treatment plan can improve quality
of life. A treatment plan may include some of the
• Medications can be taken by meter dose inhaler or
by nebulizer to open the airways and improve air
exchange. Infections can be treated with
• Pulmonary rehabilitation- Your doctor may
recommend you participate in “rehab”. This
program assists you in learning exercises to help you stay
active and carry out daily tasks.
• Diet- Your physician can guide you to appropriate
foods that will fuel your body and foods you should
avoid. Good nutritional support helps maintain
ventilatory functions of the lungs. COPD patients
expend much energy with the simple act of breathing,
and the respiratory muscles can require up to ten
times the calories required by a healthy persons
• Oxygen therapy- People with COPD who have low
blood oxygen levels may require supplemental oxygen.
Oxygen helps decrease shortness of breath and
decreases the work on the heart. Some people need to
wear oxygen all the time while others only need
supplemental oxygen part of the time.
Your physician will determine how much you need.
• Home care- Home equipment providers have
respiratory therapist on staff to teach you about
oxygen in the home. Portable oxygen provides COPD
patients with improved mobility and helps lead a
more active lifestyle.
What is COPD? -
COPD Facts -