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Treatments for COPD

Your COPD treatment plan will likely include several forms of treatment. These are based on your symptoms and the underlying cause of your COPD. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the best treatments for your needs. Parts of a typical treatment plan are described on this sheet.

Metered-dose inhaler.

Treating Your Lungs

  • Medications will be prescribed to treat the lung problems contributing to your COPD. Some medications help relieve symptoms when you have them. Others are taken daily to control inflammation in the lungs. Always take your medications as prescribed. Learn the names of your medications, as well as how and when to use them.

  • Oxygen therapy may be prescribed if tests show that your blood contains too little oxygen. In this situation, prescribed oxygen may make you feel better and even prolong your life. Oxygen may be used all the time. Or, it may be used only during certain activities.

Cigarette with circle and slash on top indicating don't smoke.

Preventing COPD from Progressing

  • Quitting smoking is the best way to keep COPD from getting worse. No matter what shape your lungs are in, quitting now will make a difference!

  • Learning how to avoid infection can help keep COPD infections from getting worse.

Man and woman outdoors, walking.

Coping with Shortness of Breath

  • Exercising will improve energy levels and strengthen your muscles, so you can do more.

  • Learning the best ways to breathe helps you gain control over your breathing. You’ll learn techniques for breathing more efficiently. And, you’ll learn how to keep anxiety from making shortness of breath worse.

  • Conserving your energy and pacing yourself will help you do more and have less shortness of breath in your daily life.

  • A pulmonary rehabilitation program may be prescribed to teach you about all aspects of your treatment plan. You’ll get hands-on help with breathing techniques, exercise, and more.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 1/15/2007
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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