How do I recognize COPD?
There are several symptoms that can be attributed to COPD. You may be thinking towards this condition when, for example:
- You often suffer from a feeling of shortness of breath;
- You often feel like you have to cough to clear mucus;
- You are often confronted with shortness of breath, even with small(er) exertions;
- There is only a limited amount of energy;
The latter is the result of the fact that breathing, for example, costs a lot of energy. This is of course energy that you do not have available for other things. Despite the fact that the above symptoms may point towards COPD, they are of course not exclusively associated with it. It is therefore possible that they are related to another condition.
Can I do something about it myself?
People who suffer from COPD generally have a tendency to exercise less. While they should actually exercise more. By continuing to exercise you will not only improve your condition, it will also help you breathe better. Although exercise can be difficult for people with lung disease, it can also be extremely beneficial at the same time. In this case it is important that you do not force yourself.
When you start exercising, it is always a good idea to just do it at your own pace. Don't try to force yourself. This will only make exercise more unpleasant. Moreover, you may find that you will usually not be able to keep it up long enough this way. In any case, continuing to exercise in a calm, normal way is the best thing you can do. This of course (possibly) together with taking the medications as described below.
Which medications are used for COPD?
At the time of writing, no cure has yet been found for COPD. This means that the medicines given are specifically aimed at improving the quality of life of the people in question. In principle, two different types of medicines are prescribed for COPD. This specifically concerns:
- Airway dilators;
At first you might think that these medications are prescribed in the form of pills. However, that is not the case. In practice, these medications are always taken by means of a so-called puffer or inhaler. In this way, it can be ensured that the medicines arrive exactly where they need to be, in the lungs. Finally, people who suffer from COPD are usually extra sensitive to the flu. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that these people get their flu shot annually. Of course this is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended.