Having a condition that interferes with your breathing is a scary predicament, which is why chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an unsettling diagnosis. So what is COPD, and what are the best ways to treat it?
COPD consists of various disorders that obstruct your airflow and cause breathing difficulties. Over 16 million Americans live with this ailment, with additional millions of individuals unaware they even have the disease. COPD is incurable; however, there are ways you can treat it, giving you the best chance to live a normal and healthy life.
There are several inhalers available that can assist in creating an airflow. Bronchodilators ease the muscles in your airways, reducing your coughing and lack of breath. There are short-acting and long-acting bronchodilators. Short-term, you will use it before being active, whereas, in the long term, you will use it daily.
You may also find that inhaled steroids can relieve inflammation and prevent bouts of shortness of breath. Lastly, combination inhalers act as a bronchodilator and steroid inhalers.
Other medications include oral steroids, phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors, antibiotics, and theophylline. Every medication has its pros and cons, so leave it to your primary doctor to give you the best course of action.
Usually, physicians will try lung therapies for those who have elevated cases of COPD. Oxygen therapy is a small device that provides oxygen when you go about your daily life. Another option is a pulmonary rehabilitation program, which will educate you about the condition and provide advice about treating it. The rehabilitation program’s central purpose is to limit the number of people who readmit to the hospital because of their COPD complications.
Noninvasive Ventilation Therapy
While there is evidence to support breathing equipment such as bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) in hospitals, some research now supports its usage at home. Noninvasive ventilation treatment equipment equipped with a mask assists in enhancing breathing and decreasing carbon dioxide retention, with the latter potentially leading to acute respiratory failure.
The most critical stage in any COPD treatment regimen is completely abstaining from smoking. Quitting smoking can help prevent COPD from worsening and impair your breathing capacity. However, stopping smoking is not simple. And this effort may feel more arduous if you’ve attempted and failed to quit previously.
Consult your physician about possible nicotine replacement products and treatments and how to handle relapses. Additionally, your doctor may recommend a support group for smokers who wish to quit.
It’s not impossible to live with the condition when you know what COPD is and the best ways to treat it. Tediously following these treatment suggestions immensely helps you live a normal life. But the most vital aspect of treating COPD is knowing that you have it. Therefore, if you are unsure if COPD affects you, contact your doctor immediately.