COPD is the fourth leading case of death in the US. The reason that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has such a high mortality rate is because it’s a progressive lung disease that over thirteen million people in the US alone are diagnosed with each year. While cigarette smoke is the most common cause of COPD, this condition can also result from significant exposure to dusts, chemicals or pollution. Research has also found that genetics can play a role in how this disease develops.
What Can You Do If You’re Diagnosed with COPD?
Because there’s no cure for COPD, being diagnosed with this disease can be a scary experience. Although it can be hard to hear the diagnosis, finding out does mean you can take an active role in managing this disease. As you come to terms with the reality of living with COPD, some of the steps you can take to sustain and even improve your quality of life are:
As previously mentioned, smoking isn’t the only cause of COPD. But if you are a smoker, the absolute best thing you can do for your health is stop. According to Norman H. Edelman, who is the American Lung Association’s chief medical officer, stopping has a positive impact in two major ways. “In the short term, people feel better almost immediately,” and “in the long term, their rate of decline in lung function also slows. It literally adds years to their lives.” Since stopping can be a major challenge, talk to your doctor about cessation options like a nicotine patch or gum.
Although a common assumption is that people with COPD should minimize exercise, the reality is as long as you receive clearance from your doctor, exercise can strengthen your heart, increase your energy, improve your breathing and allow your body to use oxygen more efficiently.
Don’t Ignore a Fever, Cough or Cold
While these conditions may not be a very big deal for someone who’s healthy, since they can cause complications with your lungs, it’s important to seek prompt medical attention as soon as you notice that you have a fever, cough or cold.
Utilize Oxygen Therapy
This form of therapy improves the muscles and heart. The major advantage of improving muscles is it makes it possible to do more. If you’re interested in this type of treatment but aren’t sure about the exact equipment you need, give us a call at (303) 423-0191. We service patients across the US, including those who are covered by Medicaid and Medicare.