Good prognosis of COPD depends on early diagnosis, whilst lung damage is at a minimum. Survival is closely linked to a patient’s level of lung function when they are diagnosed and the rate at which this function deteriorates. Age, resting heart rate, pulmonary artery pressure, airway responsiveness and whether or not the person smokes are all factors which influence a patient’s COPD progression and which affect the rate of survival. The use of long-term oxygen therapy in COPD patients has been shown to improve survival.
Treatment for COPD depends on the general medical condition and severity of each individual patient’s case. A number of possible treatment options exist for COPD sufferers. Other treatment options for COPD include:
Infections can be very serious for COPD sufferers as they can lead the rapid decline of lung functions. The risk of catching the flu is reduced by the influenza vaccine. Since the flu virus mutates rapidly the COPD sufferers should repeat the influenza vaccine once every year. If COPD is treated effectively a patient’s capacity for activity, exercise and an improved quality of life can be increased.
Not all COPD sufferers require medication. However regular or intermittent use of inhaler medication can assist to open the airways and assist with breathing for COPD sufferers. Medication for COPD can include:
See your doctor for further details about prescription medications.
Although COPD is a chronic, debilitating and sometimes fatal disease it can be managed. Taking a positive approach to learning about and understanding your illness will allow COPD to be controlled with proper care and treatment.
Important factors contributing to the effective management of COPD include: