COPD: CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, is an umbrella term used to describe a set of progressive lung diseases. Those diseases include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and refractory, or non-reversible, asthma. The disease is often characterized by breathlessness, which increases as the disease progresses.
COPD: SAFE OXYGEN TIPS
If you use oxygen to help manage the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), be sure to handle it with care. It’s essential to follow these safety tips: Don’t smoke while using oxygen, and don’t let anyone smoke near you. Put up no smoking signs in your home where you most often use the oxygen. Stay at least 5 feet away from any open flame, such as a gas stove, candle, or cigarette lighter. Don’t use oil-based products such as creams and lotions that contain petroleum.
COPD: THE BENEFITS OF MINI-MEALS
The muscles you use to breathe have to work harder because you have COPD. They use more energy so you need may need to eat more calories to supply the energy they need and to keep your muscles from becoming weaker. Ask your health care provider what your weight should be and how many calories you should eat each day. Weight loss is common in people who have COPD. You should see your health care provider if you lose more that 10 percent of your weight in six months.
COPD: END-OF-LIFE CARE
Many people have not talked with their loved ones about how they’d like to be cared for at the end of their lives. It’s an important talk to have, especially for those living with a chronic disease. What kind of care would you want if you were no longer able to speak for yourself? If you developed severe breathing problems, would you want to be placed on a ventilator, or a machine that breaths for you? It’s not easy to talk about end-of-life issues. Let your family know that by talking to them and becoming comfortable with your diagnosis.