COPD care and solutions

How can I manage
my COPD?

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Therapy and lifestyle changes can help manage your COPD symptoms¹

Regular treatment and a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise, a balanced diet and use of breathing techniques, can help you manage COPD by controling symptoms and slowing the development of further damage to your lungs¹.

 

Recognizing the triggers for flare-ups and learning how to avoid them is also helpful². For example, mucus-filled air passages can make it more difficult to breathe but you can reduce mucus build-up by using a humidifier and drinking plenty of water. Avoid lung irritants, such as air pollution or chemical fumes by staying indoors on days when the air quality is poor. This can minimize the risk of worsening symptoms and flare-ups. Many flare-ups are linked to infection so reduce your chance of catching a cold or the flu by washing your hands frequently, avoiding large crowds during the winter season and making sure you have your scheduled flu, pneumonia and pertussis vaccines³.

 

Preparing and following an action plan can help you live as normal a life as possible⁴ by managing COPD. It is also important to stick to the plan even if your breathing feels OK. Seeing your doctor regularly means that they can monitor your lung function and recognize immediately if a change of medication is required³.

Develop a COPD action plan¹

COPD management action plan - Step 1
Quit or avoid smoking
COPD management action plan - Step 2
Regular exercise and eating right, maintain a healthy weight
COPD management action plan - Step 3
Practice breathing methods and relaxation techniques and learn how to cough effectively
COPD management action plan - Step 4
Take your medications as prescribed
COPD management action plan - Step 5
Identify ways of managing the early signs of a flare-up
See your doctor regularly, even when you feel well, but especially if you have any concerns about your condition

References

1. Healthline. COPD: Treatment Options.
http://www.healthline.com/health/copd/treatment-options#Overview1 
Accessed on 3 August 2015.

2. COPD Foundation. Staying Healthy and Avoiding Exacerbations.
http://www.copdfoundation.org/What-is-COPD/Living-with-COPD/Staying-Healthy-and-Avoiding-Exacerbations.aspx
Accessed on 3 August 2015.

3. bettersleepandbreathing.com. Minimizing COPD Flareups.
http://www.bettersleepandbreathing.com/post/78457078071/minimizing-copd-flareups 
Accessed on 3rd August 2015.

4. American Lung Association. Instructions for COPD MANAGEMENT PLAN.
http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/copd/living-with-copd/ala-copd-management-plan.pdf
Accessed on 15 May 2015.

5. COPD Foundation. Slim Skinny Reference Guide®. Exercise for Someone with COPD

6. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). Pocket Guide 2015

7. Web MD. Short of Breath? Tips for COPD Breathlessness.
http://www.webmd.com/lung/features/short-breath-tips-copd-breathlessness
Accessed on 3 August 2015.

 

For informational purposes only, not to replace physician's directions.