Other treatments for COPD
Depending on your COPD symptoms, your doctor may recommend other treatments in addition to your COPD inhalers. As you adjust to your routine, it helps to keep in mind that everything works together to help you better manage your symptoms and live your everyday life.
Smoking cessation program
Smoking is the leading cause of COPD and affects not just your lungs, but your overall health. The good news? It’s never too late to quit, and you can experience benefits within minutes when you stop smoking. If you tried to quit before but were unsuccessful, your doctor may recommend medications to help reduce your craving for nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes. Serious about quitting, but need help getting there? Learn more and get tips for quitting.
When you have COPD, you may be susceptible to respiratory infections, and therefore preventing illness and infection are key. That’s why your doctor may recommend that you have:
- An annual flu vaccine – administered each year to guard against common flu viruses.
- Pneumococcal vaccine(s) – Depending on your age and previous vaccination history, your doctor will determine which vaccines you may need and when you should be vaccinated.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a medically supervised program that helps you manage your breathing so you can live your life and remain as active as possible.
You’ll work with a team of different specialists who will create a pulmonary rehabilitation plan customized for your needs. This plan may include exercise and diet recommendations, energy-conserving techniques, breathing strategies, counseling, and group support.
Your rehab therapy will typically take place in an outpatient rehab clinic or facility, although you may be able to receive rehab at home. After a few months, you’ll be assessed to find out how your pulmonary rehab has improved your breathing, symptoms, exercise level, and quality of life.
When your lungs aren’t delivering enough oxygen to the blood during normal breathing, your doctor may prescribe oxygen therapy.
By improving blood oxygen levels, oxygen therapy may actually help you be more active and live longer. If you’re concerned that oxygen therapy will make you homebound, ask about ways to help maintain your lifestyle while on therapy.
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