While there is no cure for Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), those who suffer from this condition have plenty of resources and options that will allow them to better manage their symptoms and ensure that acute episodes are less frequent and intense.
There are many long-term care options and medical treatments available that can allow for more manageable symptoms. Lifestyle changes may also be able to provide increased comfort and reduce the risk of flare-ups. Those who suffer from COPD would be wise to learn more about how they can better deal with their condition. Creating a plan of care that better meets your needs may make more of a difference than you might have first imagined.
Obtaining Proper Long-Term Care
COPD treatments and therapies are designed to relieve the most common symptoms, halt the progression of the disease and to prevent and address secondary infections. Obtaining care from the right physician or specialist offers many long-term benefits, including:
- Finding the best medications and treatment options
- Periodic visits may allow COPD sufferers to identify and address complications as soon as they arise
- Medical advice detailing any lifestyle changes that may provide greater benefit
Once the initial diagnosis is made to or you are looking for more specialized care to deal with more advanced symptoms, finding with the right physician or healthcare provider should always be a top priority.
Making Lifestyle Changes That May Aid in COPD Prevention
While eating a balanced and nutritious diet and staying active can be of benefit to anyone, COPD sufferers may find that efforts to improve their overall state of health can aid them in managing their symptoms. Avoiding tobacco products, making an effort to monitor air quality and making sure to get an annual flu or pneumonia vaccine can all make an important difference in minimizing acute episodes and flare-ups and allowing those who suffer from COPD to lessen the severity of their chronic symptoms. Avoiding the environments and conditions that commonly trigger COPD exacerbation, such as cold dry air, extreme heat and certain chemicals can also play a major role in COPD prevention.
Recognizing COPD Symptoms That May Indicate a Flare-Up
Spotting the early signs of a COPD flare-up will allow sufferers to take effective action as early as possible, which may be a key consideration in terms of avoiding the worst symptoms of an episode. Feeling dizzy or lightheaded, a sudden increase in breathing difficulty or feelings of anxiety or panic may all signal the onset of a flare-up.
Sufferers who are able to spot the early signs of a flare-up can more easily remove themselves from an environment, utilize a bronchodilator, take the right medications that may alleviate symptoms, or seek medical assistance. Early and effective efforts to deal with a flair-up may lessen COPD symptoms and reduce the need to seek more aggressive treatment or hospitalization.
COPD Exasperation, Medical Emergencies and Hospitalization
Even the most effective efforts to manage symptoms and prevent a flare-up may not be successful every time. A severe flare-up can be a life-threatening medical emergency, one that may require immediate care and hospitalization. Symptoms that indicate the need for immediate medical care may include:
- Chest pain
- Blue fingertips or lips
- Confusion or agitation
The sudden onset of severe symptoms is never a concern that should be taken lightly. Calling 911 or going to a hospital at the first sign of a severe flare-up can ensure COPD suffers are able to obtain the medical assistance that may be needed in order to treat COPD exasperation and ensure a more complete recovery.