November is COPD Awareness Month. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, commonly referred to as COPD, is a serious lung disease that makes it hard for people to breath. COPD can also be referred to as chronic bronchitis or emphysema. When you have COPD, the airways are partially blocked so it makes it hard to get air in and out of your lungs.
- A chronic, persistent cough
- Increased mucus
- Shortness of breath, especially during physical activity
- A tight feeling in the chest
Causes of COPD:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Smoking cigarettes with asthma
- Breathing in large amounts of chemicals or fumes
If you smoke and have COPD, the most important thing that you can do is to stop smoking. You will notice an improvement in your breathing quickly.
Treatment for COPD:
- Bronchodilators (medicine that open your airways)
- Corticosteroids (medicines that reduce swelling in the air ways)
- Pulmonary rehab program
Other things that will help you live a healthier life include:
- Get a flu shot every year.
- Get the pneumonia shot
- Keep your weight normal.
- Get some exercise. Check with your doctor about what kind of exercise is best for you.
- Pace your activities so that your lungs do not work too hard.
- Reduce stress and relax.
- Get emotional support.
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