Advanced COPD Treatment

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, commonly known as COPD, is a serious respiratory illness that progressively worsens over time. COPD can make it very difficult to breathe, and as one of its most common causes is smoking, it is important to quit smoking immediately, regardless of the stage of diagnosis. In the later stages of COPD, there are several treatments currently available. In addition to prescription medications, there are also several pulmonary rehabilitation techniques available. The two most used medications for COPD include nebulizers and steroids such as prednisone. In addition to rehab and medications, there are many ways to improve lung health on a daily basis. As discussed, quitting smoking is the single best step for the treatment of COPD. Additionally, there are breathing exercises that are also effective when paired with regular, daily exercise. In the latter stages of COPD, oxygen treatments will be recommended.

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  1. Is it possible for a family member to care for a COPD patient?
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    Being a caregiver for someone who suffers from chronic COPD can be very stressful but it is the usual course of action during advanced COPD treatment When providing care to a loved one who suffers from COPD it is important to remember to take care of oneself. Adequate sleep, healthy nutrition, and eating habits along with daily exercise can help caregivers to remain strong enough to take on care for an extended period of time.

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  2. Is pneumonia more dangerous for COPD sufferers?
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    Yes, and in fact, COPD patients are more likely to contract pneumonia. Oftentimes, patients are not sure if they have contracted pneumonia or their COPD symptoms have just worsened. COPD sufferers should contact their physicians immediately if any of their symptoms escalate.

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  3. What other illnesses commonly occur with COPD?
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    COPD is often a symptom itself. The shortness of breath and wheezing that occurs with COPD is often caused by emphysema, chronic bronchitis and in certain instances, asthma. The leading cause of COPD is smoking that leads to emphysema.

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  4. What is spirometry and what does it measure?
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    This tool is exceedingly helpful in the diagnosis of COPD as well as with measuring the progression of the disease. The test is conducted in the patient's physician's office via a handheld device known as a spirometer. The results are immediately transferred to a graph which can then be immediately interpreted by the doctor.

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  5. What are the most common symptoms associated with COPD?
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    There are several symptoms, that if they persist should receive immediate medical attention. Chronic coughs should always be checked out by a doctor, especially if a cough is dispelling a yellow mucus. Generally, a cough caused by COPD will be the most bothersome in the morning. Wheezing, shortness of breath and fatigue are three other symptoms that should not go unchecked.

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  6. What are the symptoms of pneumonia that people with COPD should be aware of?
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    Pneumonia and COPD share numerous symptoms, but there are several that are exclusive to pneumonia that should be addressed immediately. If a COPD patient experience any of these symptoms, medical attention should be sought immediately. These symptoms include chills, an increase in chest pain, tremors or shaking, and high fever.

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  7. Do the symptoms of acute and advanced COPD differ?
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    In the later stages of COPD, patients report symptoms such as recurring headaches that are there upon waking or begin in the mornings. Another symptom in the later stages of COPD is the swelling of the feet and ankles caused by the heart's inability to pump blood to the lower extremities.

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  8. How many stages of COPD are there?
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    There are four stages of COPD from mild, or acute COPD (stage 1) to end-stage (stage 4). COPD is a progressive disease and once a diagnosis has been made there are several medications and practices that can help to relieve symptoms.

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