If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the COPD treatment options will be on the forefront of your mind. While there is no cure for COPD, lifestyle changes, medications and other treatments can help slow the disease progress, as well as help you stay active and feel better. According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, these options include:
Pulmonary rehabilitation. This medically supervised program helps improve the health of people with lung problems. This form of rehab may include exercise, disease management training, psychiatric and nutritional counseling.
Quitting smoking. Cessation of this dangerous lung irritant can make a world of difference to those living with COPD. There are products and support groups that can help you kick the habit for good. Ask family members and friends to help support you in the process.
Avoiding secondhand smoke. Quitting smoking is a good first step toward COPD treatment, but if you’re surrounded by smokers and their smoke, you are still putting yourself in harm’s way. Steer clear of smoke and smokers.
Oxygen therapy. Your doctor may suggest oxygen therapy as a treatment option for your COPD. Through this treatment, you will receive the extra oxygen you may be lacking.
Medications. Bronchodilators are useful in COPD treatment. This medication opens airways wider and eases the breathing. Many bronchodilators are delivered via an inhaler. Steroids assist people with COPD in lowering inflammation and managing flare-ups.
Vaccinations. COPD can make healing and recovery more difficult. Proper vaccinations with the flu shot and pneumococcal vaccine reduce the likely hood of developing these illnesses.
Surgery. It is not common, but your doctor may recommend surgical options. Surgery is usually a last resort when other treatment options are not successful in managing COPD symptoms. Lung transplants may benefit those with very damaged lungs, or a lung reduction can help the lungs work better and improve daily life.