10 Ways to Treat COPD
Treatments and medication for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) range from simple breathing exercises to medications and even surgery. COPD occurs when the airways and air sacs in the lungs become inflamed or damaged, most often due to smoking, and is more common after age 45.
To determine if you have COPD, your doctor is likely to conduct some tests, including spirometry, which involves inhaling as deeply as you can and exhaling into a tube.
Inhalers or nebulizers
Opening up the airways
Pursed-lip breathing "is like breathing through a straw," says Dr. Norman Edelman of the American Lung Association. "It can reduce the tendency for airways to collapse."
Inhale through your nose for about four seconds. Then exhale through your mouth for six to eight seconds, with your lips almost closed. This will help you breathe out more air, making room in your lungs for your next deep breath.
"The emphysema patient tends to be thin, very short of breath, and frequently malnourished," says Dr. Edelman. "It is a hypermetabolic state, and they burn a lot of calories, and the diaphragm is pressing on their stomach and they can’t really fill up."
The bronchitis patient on the other hand may be overweight, which places an extra burden on the lungs, he says.
Both subsets of COPD patients should follow healthy diet guidelines, but the severely underweight may need to beef up their diet with supplemental shakes, says Dr. Edelman.
Also, getting regular flu vaccines may lower your chances of having COPD flare-ups.