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COPD- How Can It Be Treated?

Dr. Piyush Goel 90% (22 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, FNB-Critical Care Medicine
Pulmonologist, Gurgaon  •  15 years experience
COPD- How Can It Be Treated?

The chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder is a highly prevalent lung disease. People affected by COPD suffer from difficulty in breathing which can hamper regular life to a considerable extent. Though there is no particular cure available for this condition so far, it can be essentially managed with lifestyle changes and proper treatments. This first step in the process is to quit smoking.

Which medicines are available for treating COPD?
Doctors use various medications for treating the symptoms and complications of this disease. Drugs that fall under any of the categories mentioned below, coupled with therapy sessions would be recommended.

  1. Bronchodilators: These medicines which tend to come in the form of an inhaler help in relaxing the muscles around the airways. It can assist in relieving coughing and shortness of breath making it easier to breathe. You may need a short-acting bronchodilator to provide quick relief and a long-acting bronchodilator to use on a regular basis.
  2. Combination inhalers: For those patients whose condition is severe and experience frequent flare-ups, combination inhalers are used. As the name implies, it is a combination of steroids and beta-agonist employed in the short or long acting bronchodilator. Your doctor might recommend this depending on your condition.
  3. Theophylline: This class of medicine is quite inexpensive which is commonly used in the treatment of COPD and asthma. It can improve breathing while preventing flare-ups. But the side effects of this medicine are many and may include fast heartbeat, headache, nausea, and even tremor. Hence, your doctor might advise this medication only if it suits you.

Can lung therapies help in treating COPD?
Doctors often use additional therapies for the treatment of moderate to severe COPD:

  1. Pulmonary rehabilitation program: These programs include exercise training, education, nutrition therapies and counseling. The affected person needs to work with the professionals who can tailor the rehabilitation program for meeting their specific needs. This treatment can shorten the duration of hospitalization and increase one’s ability to take part in daily activities.
  2. Oxygen therapy: If there is a lack of oxygen in the blood, you would need additional oxygen to supplement it. There are several types of equipment available in the market that can deliver oxygen to the lungs. Some of these are lightweight and portable which you may carry with you while running errands.

Is there any surgery available in the treatment of COPD?
Surgery may be the only option for people who have a severe form of COPD and emphysema. Some of the most common surgical interventions include bullectomy, lung transplant, and lung volume reduction surgery. There are individual risks and complications in each of these cases, and therefore, it is very important to manage the symptoms to avoid the need for surgical operations.

Thus, with caution and care, COPD can be managed effectively, and you may lead a normal life.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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