Living with COPD

COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD is a progressive lung disease that worsens over time, caused by damage to the lungs which makes it hard to breathe. It is often made up of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Many people experience symptoms for years before getting officially diagnosed. By this point, damage to the lungs has already occurred. 

For people who have COPD, less air flows in and out of the airway as the disease damages the lungs and creates more lung-clogging mucus. More people are diagnosed with the disease each year

What to do about it: The key to managing COPD is preventing exacerbations, or symptom flare-ups. Long-acting beta agonists are maintenance medications that can help improve lung function and provide consistent, ongoing relief.

If shortness of breath is persistent and prevents routine activities, oxygen therapy may help activity level increase, and may extend life in many cases.  

Shortness of breath is a common symptom of COPD. There are many ways to help:

  • Learn how to breathe to gain control over your breathing and lessen anxiety. Try pursed-lip breathing.
  • Take time to relax. Find what works for you to lessen feelings of anxiety. Great options include reading, listening to music, yoga or tai chi, mediating, and praying.
  • Exercising will improve your energy and strengthen your muscles. Just be sure to pace yourself and do what is comfortable.
  • Any time breathing becomes difficult or feels labored, take a break and let yourself breathe for a few minutes. Some people find it easier to sit to dress, brush their teeth, or do dishes.

If you are living with COPD, American HomePatient is happy to help. We will partner with your physician to find the right therapies to keep you out of the hospital and as active as possible. COPD can be hard to live with. It helps to have a respiratory expert on your side, supporting your health and helping you live more comfortably with your disease. Rely on American HomePatient to help you manage your COPD.