How to Help Yourself: COPD
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When you have COPD, medications are only one part of the treatment process. Learn what lifestyle changes you have to make if you have COPD.
Transcript: COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is NOT easy to manage. The coughing, wheezing, shortness...
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is NOT easy to manage. The coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness worsen with time and can make accomplishing daily tasks DIFFICULT. But in addition to medications and therapies prescribed by your doctor, there ARE lifestyle changes that can help if you have COPD. Smoking is the NUMBER ONE cause of COPD. Experts agree that KICKING a cigarette habit and avoiding secondhand smoke, along with other lung irritants-such as air pollution, chemical fumes, and dust-are the best ways to live better with COPD. If you are a smoker with COPD, please SEEK HELP to quit. EXERCISE seems difficult when you can't catch your breath, but basic workouts are good for you. According to the American Thoracic Society, exercising regularly can improve COPD patients' quality of life and the most important routine is walking three to five days a week. Since those with COPD are more likely to have problems with the flu and pneumonia, it is recommended to consult with a doctor about getting vaccinated against both. The American Lung Association suggests several SIMPLE lifestyle changes to make life with COPD a bit easier. They include protecting yourself from getting respiratory infections by: washing your hands often, using hand sanitizer, avoiding crowds, and, maintaining good dental hygiene. In addition, you want to upgrade your nutrition. A nutritionist can work with you on a COPD-specific healthy eating plan, choosing foods that are easy to make to save energy, avoiding foods that cause gas or bloating, and asking loved ones for help with tasks and errands if you are short of breath. The chronic bronchitis component of COPD means that you're often coughing up mucus. You can relieve your cough and loosen mucus by drinking plenty of fluids and keeping your indoor air moist with a humidifier.Finally, you should pay attention to the PSYCHOLOGICAL effects of COPD. Patients with this disease tend to develop feelings of depression and anxiety. Talk therapy and support groups will IMPROVE your outlook on life and keep your mood UP. Take a look at other videos in this series to learn about the medications and therapies that treat COPD.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-11 | Tags »
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, smoking, lung irritants, air pollution, chemical fumes, COPD, cough, wheeze, shortness breath, chest tightness, vaccine, depression, anxiety, talk therapy respiratory, respiratory system, respiratory problem flu, pneumonia
Oxygen therapy can help improve COPD symptoms and shortness of breath. Watch this video and learn about long-term oxygen therapy.
Transcript: OXYGEN THERAPY, which delivers a higher concentration of oxygen to the lungs, is considered one of the...
OXYGEN THERAPY, which delivers a higher concentration of oxygen to the lungs, is considered one of the most effective ways to improve the day-to-day quality of life for many people with COPD, who often can't breathe well enough on their own. By using oxygen CONCENTRATORS that concentrate ambient air, compressed oxygen cylinders, or liquid oxygen cylinders that can last 4 to 8 hours, a person with COPD can become more mobile AND may avoid some complications that come from chronically reduced blood oxygen levels. Those complications include HEART failure, fatigue, shortness of breath, and DIFFICULTY with concentration and memory. It's IMPORTANT to know that oxygen therapy is NOT for everyone with COPD. For one, breathlessness does NOT always indicate chronically low blood levels of oxygen. And conversely, there are people who can breathe pretty regularly BUT who DO HAVE low oxygen levels. That's why your doctor may want to perform an ARTERIAL BLOOD GAS test, or ABG. Or, he can measure your oxygen saturation fusingom a small monitor placed on your finger. If your results DO indicate hypoxemia - that's the medical word for low blood oxygen levels - then you may need oxygen therapy. Remember, you may require more oxygen when you exercise, so work with your doctor to determine the level of oxygen you need: Too much oxygen is also not good for your breathing.And once you have your exercise and oxygen program, it's important to follow the directions to a T. To learn more about COPD, be sure to watch other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-11 | Tags »
long- term oxygen therapy, oxygen therapy, copd, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, low blood oxygen levels, heart failure, concentrate ambient air, compressed oxygen cylinders, liquid oxygen cylinder shortness of breath, breathlessness, oxygen respiratory, respiratory system, respiratory problem fusingom
The stages of COPD include breathing problems that increase in severity. Understanding the stages can give you an idea of how well you're doing. See video for details.
Transcript: Like other chronic, progressive diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - or COPD-- is measured...
Like other chronic, progressive diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - or COPD-- is measured in stages or grades of severity. G-O-L-D -which stands for Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease--is an international organization that has established GUIDELINES for diagnosing COPD and classifying its severity. They look at ease of breathing and the number of COPD exacerbations-or acute attacks-a person has PER YEAR. They also evaluate a patient's other symptoms such as chest tightness, fatigue and breathlessness. An earlier set of guidelines identified the progressive worsening of COPD through stages - but they now call them GRADES.There are four grades of COPD: -Grade 1: the patient MAY have mild breathing problems and/or has had at MOST one acute attack a year, in which the day to day COPD symptoms become suddenly worse. They have mild miscellaneous symptoms such as fatigue or wheezing and some breathlessness. -Grade 2: this involves moderate, CHRONIC breathing problems, and/or at most one COPD exacerbation - or acute attack -- a year. A patient will have mild to MODERATE symptoms and breathlessness.Grade 3: The patient may have chronic breathing problems, moderate breathlessness, and/or two or MORE COPD exacerbations each year. -In Grade 4, a patient may have VERY severe, chronic breathing problems, almost constant breathlessness, and/or 2 or more exacerbations every year. Regardless of your grade, medication will TYPICALLY be a part of your treatment plan, with the number of medications increasing with the increasing severity of symptoms. Oxygen therapy, used by patients with low levels of oxygen in their blood, may help those with moderate to severe COPD. And surgery may be recommended in SEVERE cases when meds and other treatments have not helped enough.To get more information about COPD, watch additional videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD, global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease, acute attacks, mild breathing problems, COPD exacerbations, copd grades, chronic breathing problems, oxygen therapy chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, fatigue, breathlessness respiratory, respiratory system, respiratory problem cough medicine, robitussin