Living With COPD

hronic obstructive pulmonary disease ­– or COPD – adversely affects the lungs by making it increasingly difficult for sufferers to breathe normally. According to the NIH, this disease is characterized by its progressive nature, meaning that it grows in severity with time. Although exposure to many irritants, like chemicals and airborne pollutants, can cause the condition, some 75 percent of sufferers smoked cigarettes sometime before contracting COPD. The exposure that leads to this disease can result in your lungs’ airways and air sac structures becoming inflamed, damaged, clogged, or destroyed, which prevents you from intaking sufficient oxygen and expelling enough CO2.

5 Comments

  1. VoteItUp on June 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    What Symptoms Can I Expect From COPD?

    COPD commonly comes with problems like chronic coughing, which may include coughing up mucus. Many people also discover that they lose their breath more rapidly during exercise or periods of physical exertion. As their COPD worsens, they may even find it hard to catch their breath when they participate in regular everyday activities.

    Some individuals shed weight or lose physical strength over time. COPD exacerbations, or flare-ups, may occur occasionally, and these incidents can be life-threatening depending on their severity. Sufferers may also experience tightness in their chests or begin to produce wheezing and whistling noises when they breathe. COPD patients could also potentially be at risk for respiratory ailments, like the flu and colds.

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  2. VoteItUp on June 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    How Can I Treat My COPD?

    First and foremost, COPD sufferers should immediately stop smoking. Although this won’t cure the damage that you’ve already caused, it can help prevent it from getting worse. Likewise, sufferers should avoid areas where irritant inhalation is a risk. For instance, places with lots of secondhand smoke, fumes or dust may be worth avoiding.

    COPD is currently incurable, but various treatments have the potential to slow its progress, such as medications that you inhale to open your airways or antibiotics that you take to deal with infections. Experts also recommend getting vaccinated to ward off illnesses like the flu or pneumonia.

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  3. VoteItUp on June 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Will I Be Able to Eat Normally?

    One potential symptom of severe COPD is that patients might develop problems consuming enough food. These individuals’ symptoms might make it harder to complete meals, eventually leading them to run out of energy or suffer from nutritional deficiencies.

    To avoid mealtime shortness of breath, COPD sufferers will often have to change their eating habits. For instance, many take extra time to clear their airways thoroughly before meals, consume less in a single sitting and switch to healthier foods that require less work to chew. You might also benefit from not drinking until after your meals and improving your posture while you eat to reduce pressure on your diaphragm.

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  4. VoteItUp on June 27, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Will I Need to Use an Oxygen Mask All Day?

    Oxygen therapy can help some individuals get more oxygen into their bloodstreams via their lungs. Although it’s not right for everyone, people with severe COPD might be able to breathe more comfortably while they’re using masks. As with other drug treatments, however, this remedy should only be prescribed by doctors after they’ve determined that your blood oxygen content is too low.

    If you start oxygen therapy for your COPD, you may have to use it 24 hours a day or just during certain periods, like when you exercise, sleep or travel in airplanes. In any of these cases, you’ll have to follow fire safety procedures, like not using your tank around open flames and cigarettes, which you shouldn’t be near anyway.

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  5. VoteItUp on June 27, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Should I Get Surgery to Treat My COPD?

    Although surgical intervention can help some COPD cases, doctors only perform it on those who have extreme symptoms. Options like lung transplants, bullectomies, or the removal of dead lung tissue, and lung volume reduction surgery are typically reserved for patients with severe COPD. These treatments won’t increase your lifespan after your diagnosis, but they can make living easier if you’re in significant discomfort.

    Depending on your climate preferences, you may find it more comfortable to live with COPD in colder or hotter weather, but there’s no universal rule. The important thing to remember about your environment is that airborne irritants and high-altitude, low-oxygen zones can exacerbate your symptoms.

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