Things to know about COPD and its treatments
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs that results in obstructed airflow. Long-term exposure to certain gases or matter, or cigarette smoking can often lead to this condition. Those who have COPD also have an increased risk of developing lung cancer, heart diseases, and other conditions.
To avoid COPD from causing health complications mentioned above, it is important to know the various signs and symptoms of the disease and get early diagnosis followed by adequate treatments. Some common signs and symptoms of COPD include difficulty in breathing, chronic coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, frequent cold and flu, chest tightness and frequent respiratory infections.
Treatments of COPD
Upon being diagnosed with COPD, doctors start the necessary treatment to control the symptoms. Complete COPD treatments are listed as shown below.
Doctors use different kinds and combinations of medications to treat the symptoms of COPD and prevent further complications. Medication is provided to the patient through inhaled steroids, oral steroids, combination inhalers, portable oxygen concentrators, nebulizers etc.
Self-care along with other COPD treatments is vital. Physical exercise, quitting smoking, and diaphragmatic breathing are some measures that come under self-care.
Providing oxygen to the lungs (also known as oxygen therapy), and pulmonary rehabilitation are therapeutic measures taken to treat COPD.
- CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure)
People who have sleep apnea along with COPD are asked to use CPAP therapy. CPAP machines and supplies are available on several online stores such as ResMed, CPAP Supply USA, and The CPAP Shop.
Inhalers are one of the most important treatments used for COPD. They are designed to assist breathing by opening up the lung airways. Patients are asked to use some inhalers for quick relief as well as long-term prevention. Some of the popular companies that manufacture COPD inhalers and portable oxygen concentrators are Propeller health, Inogen®, ResMed, SeQuel®, and Invacare®.
Portable oxygen concentrators are used as therapy for COPD. These are machines used for treating COPD symptoms by providing therapeutic medical oxygen to the patient. Most of these machines are also approved by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to be carried on commercial aircrafts by COPD patients. Some of the most efficient portable oxygen concentrators are the ones that offer a continuous flow. SeQual Eclipse, DeVilbiss Healthcare iGo, and O2 Concepts OxLife Independence are some portable oxygen concentrators that provide a continuous oxygen flow. Inogen One, AirSep FreeStyle, Oxus Portable Oxygen Concentrators are some portable oxygen concentrators that do not offer a continuous oxygen flow. The mentioned concentrators are approved by the FAA.
Things to remember about COPD treatment options
It is important for the patients to use the right medication and inhaler combination as any wrong combination of medication and inhaler can be dangerous. Also, most inhalers should not be used for sudden symptoms of COPD or asthma. Therefore, patients are advised to consult a healthcare provider or a doctor before buying or using an inhaler, portable oxygen concentrators, or nebulizer.