Lung and respiratory problems


(Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis)

  • Also known as
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

About COPD

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) makes it hard for you to breathe. The two main types are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The main cause of COPD is long-term exposure to substances that irritate and damage the lungs. This is usually cigarette smoke. Air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust can also cause it.At first, COPD may cause no symptoms or only mild symptoms. As the disease gets worse, symptoms usually become more severe. They includeA cough that produces a lot of mucusShortness of breath, especially with physical activityWheezingChest tightnessDoctors use lung function tests, imaging tests, and blood tests to diagnose COPD. There is no cure. Treatments may relieve symptoms. They include medicines, oxygen therapy, surgery, or a lung transplant. Quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to treat COPD. NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Symptoms of COPD
  • A cough that produces a lot of mucus
  • Shortness of breath, especially with physical activity
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness

All Medications for COPD

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for COPD

What tip would you give someone like me who was just diagnosed?
  • Exercise! Keeping those muscles well oxygenated will be a HUGE benefit to you!

  • Small, frequent meals are best for people with COPD. You don't want to have a full tummy, or acid reflux.

  • If you can get into a pulmonary rehabilitation program, you will learn so much about your illness and how to properly exercise!

  • The stages of COPD are just labels. Be a rebel. Don't think about them at all. Just live each day to the fullest.

  • Make sure to take the medication as prescribed. I also have to use a cpap machine because I quit breathing 54 times in 5 minutes.

What’s your best coping strategy?
  • When one is first diagnosed, depression is very common. Music is a great escape, or a long walk.

  • Join a support group! Support groups can be in person or online and you will be surrounded with people that have the exact same struggles you have. There is always a kind person to talk to at any hour if you join online support groups.

  • Don't look at COPD as the dark scary thing that ruined your life. This is just a new chapter in your life. Take the time to enjoy the little things we tend to take for granted when we are healthy. Take time off of work, relax, travel, read, learn something new. There are many online classes you can take for FREE! Spend time doing what you love.

  • Always be thankful for what you still have. I look at my beautiful children and grandchildren and it perks me right up.

  • Cpap machine and breathing exercises. I read and write poetry and review books

Besides medications, what else has worked for you?
  • Spiriva has been the best for me. I have had insurance issues and had to switch off of it a few times. Each time, I suffered like I was taking nothing to help me. And each time, I have lost lung function. It a medication is working well for you, don't agree to change it unless you are prepared for this possibility.

  • Pulmonary rehabilitation helped me learn more about COPD, exercise, and I lost 20 pounds! Losing weight is a real struggle when you don't feel confident about exercising. Rehab will help with that.

  • Avoiding infections is super important. It is OKAY to ask friends and family to not visit until they are feeling well. Also, ask for help with shopping so you are not in a public place so frequently.

  • Cpap machine