How to Prevent and Treat COPD Exacerbation
Updated: Nov 16, 2020
People with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) know what it’s like having unexpected flare ups that leave one either mildly inconvenienced or completely debilitated. What many don’t know is that just about anything can trigger a COPD flare up. From anxiety to air pollution, those with this condition may not know when or why they’re suffering. Here are some facts to help you or your loved one prevent and treat COPD exacerbations whenever they arise.
Long Term Impact
According to Medical News Today, COPD is a condition that worsens over time and includes symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, excess mucus, chest tightness, and fatigue. But it may not be just worsening as new symptoms or unusual flare ups can increase over time as well. As a result, treatments may have to change over the course of one’s lifetime. So what are some treatments you can use in order to deal with these challenges?
Oxygen therapy involves breathing in pure oxygen in a controlled environment. Not only does it encourage better breathing in a COPD patient, but it’s also used to treat those with brain abscesses, burns, or carbon monoxide poisoning. Under the guidance of a trained medical professional, oxygen therapy is a clean, safe way to prevent and manage COPD flare ups. It delivers oxygen to the blood and improves the growth of stem cells as well.
Bronchodilators are medications that relax muscles and airways, allowing one to breathe more deeply and easily. Commonly given via inhalers, bronchodilators are also used in asthma patients. If you’re not a fan of the inhaler option, this form of medication can be taken in liquid or aerosol form.
Quitting Vaping or Smoking
With or without COPD, vaping and smoking are incredibly harmful to the lungs. If you smoke or are around others who smoke, restrict your exposure as much as possible. Smoking constricts and clogs pulmonary arteries, causing breathing to be more difficult. No matter your age or health status, smoking is never a good idea.
If you’re actively treating your COPD, be sure to stay on top of your plan with your doctor. Taking the prescribed medications is key to ensuring your lung health. This may include medications such as antibiotics, natural supplements, or any of the above listed options. When in doubt, always take your medication as prescribed until your doctor or primary care physician says otherwise.
As our bodies change, our treatment plans have to as well. When you have COPD, it’s important to be aware of what causes your flare ups, avoid irritants as much as possible, and seek treatment that works best for you. Whether you plan to treat your condition more naturally or require steroids or antibiotics, always communicate with your doctor. COPD is a lifelong condition, but it shouldn’t control your life!
Contact our clinic today for any questions or treatment options! When it comes to your breathing health, we care about what you need!
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Upper Marlboro, Prince George's County 20772
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