Are You Doing Everything You Can to Take Charge of Your COPD?

 Treating and Managing COPD

Treating and Managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
A Guide for COPD Patients and Their Families

Breathing: in with the good air and out with the bad. It's that simple.

But if you're one of the 16 million Americans with COPD, nothing is simple. Ordinary tasks like walking up a flight of stairs or making your bed can cause wheezing, coughing, and pronounced shortness of breath.

COPD is a progressive disease: It develops slowly and worsens over time. And, as COPD worsens, breathlessness may begin to severely limit your daily physical activities, leaving you tired, weak, and depressed.

COPD can be a debilitating and deadly disease -- but it doesn't have to be this way. There are many steps you can take to identify and treat COPD at its earliest stages BEFORE it causes serious lung damage.

If you have chronic bronchitis or emphysema, it's critically important to learn everything you can about your condition so you can make informed decisions about your treatment -- so you can partner with your doctor effectively, ask the right questions, and understand the answers.

Imagine having direct access to a leading expert in COPD! That's why we asked John Balmes, M.D., Professor in the Divisions of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, to share his wisdom and experience with COPD patients in an important Special Health Report: Treating and Managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Dr. Balmes has been studying the respiratory health effects of various air pollutants for the past 38 years.

Treating and Managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is written for YOU. This authoritative 79-page report contains vital information you won't find in any other single source. Armed with this knowledge, you can work closely with your doctor to breathe easier, minimize restrictions, and maximize to whatever extent possible the quality of your life.

Advice That's Practical, Authoritative -- and Compassionate

COPD is an obstructive lung disease. It includes chronic bronchitis or emphysema (or a combination of the two), both of which are characterized by airflow obstruction. Treating and Managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) gets to the heart of your concerns about living with this debilitating disease. It provides the latest thinking on the causes of COPD and the full range of your treatment options - with in-depth discussions of medications, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, and surgical interventions. Chapters include:

  • COPD: Causes and Symptoms
  • Diagnosing COPD
  • Building Your COPD Medical Team
  • Medications for COPD
  • Managing Severe COPD with Oxygen Therapy
  • Getting the Most From Pulmonary Rehab
  • Surgical Interventions for Severe COPD
  • Treating Depression After a Diagnosis of COPD

Treating and Managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is designed to help you ensure the best outcome. Use what you learn in these chapters to help you:

  • Recognize and respond to symptoms and changes in your breathing and lung function as they occur.
  • Communicate effectively with your doctor.
  • Make the most informed decisions, based on an understanding of the newest drugs, the latest therapies, the most promising research.
  • Take control over your condition and act from solid, evidence-based knowledge, rather than myths.

The GOOD NEWS on Medications for COPD

While COPD is a serious progressive lung disease - it's eminently treatable. At every stage of the illness, there are medications to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. In this section, Dr. Balmes answers patient questions on medication therapy, including:

  • What's the best treatment strategy for COPD?
  • What are bronchodilator drugs used for?
  • Who needs to take medication for COPD?
  • When is a long-acting bronchodilator prescribed?
  • What are corticosteroid medications and why are they used for COPD?
  • What is the role of a mucolytic drug in COPD management?
  • How do colds or other respirator infections affect someone with COPD?
  • When considering joining a clinical trial, what’s the first step?

Treating and Managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) discusses these and other COPD treatment therapies. And that's just the start. We answer your questions about supplemental oxygen, commonly prescribed for severe COPD:

  • What is hypoxemia and how does oxygen therapy help?
  • Who is a candidate for oxygen therapy?
  • Will oxygen therapy cure my COPD?
  • Is it possible to be short of breath and still have adequate oxygen saturation?
  • What is LOTT (Long-term Oxygen Treatment Trial) and what will we learn from it?
  • If a little oxygen is good, is more better?
  • Is it possible to become "addicted" to oxygen?
  • How do portable compressed gas oxygen systems work? How do liquid oxygen systems work?
  • Is it possible to travel with oxygen?
  • Will Medicare cover the cost of my supplemental oxygen?

Beyond Medication - Your Comprehensive Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a critical part of COPD therapy. These special programs combine stretching, resistance training, and endurance training to get patients moving and boost sagging spirits.

In Treating and Managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Dr. Balmes explains: The best way to find a pulmonary rehabilitation program and to pay for it.  How pulmonary rehabilitation works, what to expect and who's a candidate.  The 10 benefits of exercising regularly. How to start a walking program, how to stay motivated... and much more.

What If Medication and Rehab Are Not Enough?
Dr. Balmes Talks About Surgical Interventions

Lung-volume reduction surgery (LRVS) and lung transplant surgery can improve quality of life for select patients with severe emphysema. If you're considering one of these life-saving procedures, you may wonder:

  • What are the potential benefits of LRVS?
  • Who's a candidate?
  • What have we learned from the NETT (National Emphysema Treatment Trial) study?
  • How is lung-volume reduction surgery performed?
  • Do double lung transplants work better than single for long-term survival?
  • Can a person be too old for lung transplant surgery?
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Treating and Managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is published by the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. This publication is part of an outgrowth of the School’s commitment to help improve the health and wellness of our community of readers by publishing expert advice on prevention, diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of ailments and disorders. We provide trusted, authoritative health guidance from leading physicians and researchers at America’s top medical centers and hospitals.

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