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Download e-book My Physician Guide to COPD: Top Experts on What You Need to Know about Emphysema and Bronchitis

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You inhale these medicines, and they help to open up your airways. These drugs reduce airway inflammation. Your doctor might prescribe these to fight bacterial infections. This drug stops an enzyme called PDE4. It prevents flare-ups in people whose COPD is linked to chronic bronchitis. Flu or pneumonia vaccines.

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These vaccines lower your risk for these illnesses. This program includes exercise , disease management, and counseling to help you stay as healthy and active as possible. You may need this to reduce shortness of breath, protect your organs, and enhance your quality of life. Try taking these steps to enhance your quality of life: If you smoke, stop. Avoid smoke, fumes, dust, and air pollution as much as you can. Take your medications as directed. Walk or do other light exercises several times a week.

Eat a healthy diet. When Should I Call ? Get medical help right away if any of these things happen to you: You have a severe shortness of breath.

COPD: There is Hope. Ways to Improve COPD, Emphysema, and Chronic Bronchitis

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 taking medicines. Pulmonary rehab is a program to help you manage COPD. It can ease shortness of breath, help you exercise more easily, and improve your quality of life. At a hospital or clinic, you'll work with a team of doctors, nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, and respiratory therapists.

Severe COPD can prevent you from getting enough air into your lungs.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Treatment & Surgery

As a result, oxygen levels in your blood can get too low. Therapy increases these levels to help you stay active and healthy. You breathe in oxygen through a mask or prongs in your nose. It can come from a big home unit, or a small tank you carry around with you. You might need oxygen all the time or only when you're active. Get a yearly flu shot to reduce the number of COPD flare-ups you have. Ask your doctor whether you should also get a pneumonia vaccine.


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If other treatments don't work and your COPD is severe, you might need one of these surgeries to treat it:. Treatment from your doctor is just one part of COPD care.


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A few changes to your daily life can also help you breathe easier. The most important one is to quit smoking. Cigarette smoke is the leading cause of COPD, and it can make the disease worse. It may not be easy for you to quit, but many methods are available to help. Ask your doctor about nicotine replacement, medicine, and counseling. Once you've quit, try to stay away from anyone else who smokes.

Avoid dust and chemical fumes, too.

My Physician Guide to COPD: Top Experts on What You Need to Know about Emphysema and Bronchitis

A couple of other things to consider:. Your doctor can help you design a fitness program that's safe for you. You'll also learn breathing techniques to help you exercise. Here are some of the treatments your doctor might recommend to improve your symptoms: Bronchodilators These relax the muscles around your airways to let more air into your lungs. Bronchodilators can be short-acting or long-acting: Short-acting bronchodilators may include: Some of them are: Other side effects include: Constipation Fast heartbeat Muscle cramps Shaking Steroids These bring down swelling in your airways.

Examples of inhaled steroids are: Some medicines combine a bronchodilator and inhaled steroid. Budesonide and formoterol Symbicort Futicasone and salmeterol Advair Side effects of steroid medicines depend on how long you take them. Cough Increased chance of infections Infections of the mouth Hoarse voice Sore mouth or throat Weakened bones. Theophylline This medicine works like a bronchodilator, but it's less expensive. Theophylline can help your lungs work better, but it may not control all of your symptoms. During this program, you'll learn how to: Keep your lungs healthy.

Exercise without getting short of breath. Feel better emotionally and physically. Surgery If other treatments don't work and your COPD is severe, you might need one of these surgeries to treat it: Air sacs are the tiny pouches in your lungs where oxygen travels into your blood vessels. COPD destroys the walls of these air sacs.

When the walls come down, they create large spaces in your lungs, called bullae.