copd symptoms and stages: How To Treat copd For Improving Breath
- Shortness of breath, especially during physical activities
- Chest tightness
- Having to clear your throat first thing in the morning, due to extra mucus in your lungs
- A chronic cough that may produce mucus (sputum) that may be clear, white, yellow or greenish
- Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis)
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Lack of energy
- Unintended weight loss (in later stages)
- Swelling in ankles, feet or legs
“The most important therapeutic option remains smoking cessation in those still smoking,” says Dr. Thomashow. “Diagnosing the disease early could help push smokers to stop and potentially dramatically improve their future.” He also notes that “having more mild disease does not necessarily mean there are no symptoms, [but] with available medications and rehab programs, we can often significantly improve these symptoms.”
Moderately severe. At this COPD stage, the limitation of airflow begins to worsen and is easy to see on a spirometry test. Symptoms like coughing and sputum production will begin to increase, which is often what prompts people to see a doctor. At this stage, your COPD action plan may be similar to that for mild COPD, but you may need one or more long-acting inhalers in your medication regimen. You may also begin pulmonary rehabilitation, a program designed to improve lung function and led by a therapist.
Severe. Severe COPD almost always has a noticeable impact on your quality of life. Breathing function continues to decline. Symptoms worsen, you’ll feel tired more often and have less capacity for exercise. In terms of treat copd, you may need a a steroid inhaler to help prevent symptoms from worsening.
Very severe. At this level of COPD, quality of life is often extremely affected. Breathing difficulties can even be life-threatening, and the lack of airflow coming into the lungs starts to affect the heart and circulatory system. “Oxygen therapy may be used in those with more severe disease,” says Thomashow. “Some surgical or experimental bronchoscopic options may have value in selected patients.”
How To Treat COPD? to treat copd You’ll try different ways to manage your disease and its symptoms at each stage. Your doctor will try to:
- Ease your symptoms, such as improving breathing.
- Keep your disease from getting worse, or slow its move to the next stage.
- Improve your quality of life and energy level.
Treatments include many different drugs, special exercises, oxygen therapy, surgery, and complementary therapies. If you smoke, the most important thing you can do is quit. It’s the best way to improve your COPD symptoms or keep your disease from getting worse. If you live with a smoker, it will help you if they quit. If you work in a place where people smoke or the air is polluted, you may have to consider changing jobs.Medication can help improve your lung capacity, ease inflammation, relax muscles in your airways, and improve your breathing. They include:
- Bronchodilators that you breathe in through an inhaler. These come in short- and long-acting forms. Some stop the muscles in your airways from tightening up (anticholinergics). Others relax muscles that are already tight (beta agonists).
- Anti-inflammatory meds or corticosteroids (or steroids) are often inhaled COPD drugs. But if your symptoms are getting worse, you may get pills that you take for a short time.
- Antibiotics to fight infections that cause symptom flare-ups
- Vaccinations against the flu or pneumonia
- Roflumilast (Daliresp), the first of a new class of COPD drugs called phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors, designed to ease flares for people at the severe stage.