COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, is becoming increasingly more common. This progressivly worsening and fatal illness makes it difficult to breathe and also restricts the amount of air you can take into your lungs. This means that the amount of usable oxygen for the body also decreases dramatically. As the condition progresses, the lungs can become so damaged that you need supplemental oxygen to make sure that your body receives the amounts it needs to function efficiently. There are many treatment methods that are effective that can be used to control COPD. In most cases, your doctor will use multiple methods to ensure your treatment plan is complete and your condition remains under control.
Top 3 Treatments for COPD
- Oxygen Therapy
- Quitting Smoking
Medications such as inhalers, oral medications, and breathing treatments work by keeping your airways open and free of obstructions. Oral inhalers often include steroid medications that relieve the inflammation associated with COPD and other chronic, upper respiratory disorders. Decongestants are prescribed to eliminate excessive amounts of mucous or other fluids in the lungs. Anti-inflammatory medications are also used to help decrease any inflammation that may be present. Pain medications help to soothe any discomfort you may feel and helps to reduce the tightness of the muscles in your chest. Because COPD restricts your ability to breathe it can sometimes lead to anxiety. The more anxious or nervous you get, the harder it is to breathe. This creates a vicious cycle that continues to make your symptoms worse. Anti-anxiety medications are prescribed to prevent this from happening.
- Opens airways
- Decreases congestion
- Soothes discomfort
With COPD, your oxygen levels can eventually drop to dangerously low levels. Without proper oxygen, your cells and tissues cannot function efficiently. If they are deprived of usable oxygen long enough, they will begin to die and your muscles and organs will cease to function. Oxygen therapy is a long-term treatment option that allows you to receive supplemental oxygen that helps the lungs to heal. In the beginning, you may only need to supplement your oxygen at night while you are sleeping. As the symptoms of COPD progressively worsen, you may need to supplement your oxygen during the day as well. Your doctor will evaluate your blood oxygen levels on a regular basis to ensure you are getting what you need throughout the day. Oxygen therapy also boosts the immune system and helps to prevent upper respiratory infections.
- Aids in the healing process
- Provides more usable oxygen to the body
- Boosts the immune system
Quitting smoking is probably the one most effective way to make positive changes in your health. While medications and oxygen therapy provide you with what your body needs to heal, quitting smoking takes away a large portion of what is making you sick in the first place. While it won’t eliminate all of the toxins you are exposed to, it will reduce your exposure to some of the more dangerous elements. Quitting smoking allows your lungs to take in increased amounts of usable oxygen. It improves circulation providing all of the tissues in your body with the oxygen and nutrients they need to function efficiently. With the dramatic decrease in toxins and the increase in nutrients, the lungs begin to function more efficiently.
- Allows for an increase in usable oxygen
- Improves circulation
- Improves lung function
COPD can be a debilitating disease. By making positive lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, you can prevent further damage to your lungs. The use of oxygen therapy and various types of medications, you can help the lungs work more efficiently. This provides the body with what it needs and allows you to live a more active, enjoyable life. Your doctor will use many different treatment options when creating your specific care plan. This ensures your lungs have what they need to function effectively and keep the rest of your body healthy as well.