Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a group of lung diseases that makes breathing difficult. These diseases include emphysema, bronchitis and some forms of asthma.
COPD is caused when inflammation builds up in your lungs making it hard for air to pass through. In most cases, signs of COPD don’t occur until after lung damage has already occurred. That is why prevention is very important.
You can prevent COPD by:
If you have COPD the following can keep you healthy and strong:
- Eat healthy.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid triggers.
- Rest often.
- Get your preventive health check-ups and shots.
- Be educated about COPD.
- Talk to your doctor about the right medications for you.
- Do not smoke.
Know your signs when you need help. Call your doctor if you experience:
- A significant increase in:
- The amount of sputum (phlegm) produced.
- Thickness or stickiness of sputum.
- Changes in sputum color to yellow or green.
- Severe shortness of breath, cough or wheezing.
- Sleeping difficulties due to increased shortness of breath or cough.
- Unexplained increase in fatigue or lack of energy.
- High fever (over 100 degrees).
- Development of flu-like symptoms.
To manage your chronic lung condition:
- Talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medicine or codeine.
- Do not increase the liter flow of prescribed oxygen unless your doctor says it is OK.
- Do not smoke.
If you have COPD, contact our Care Management department for help and support managing your condition. Visit the Care Management page for contact information.