What Is COPD?
Many people wonder, “What does COPD stand for?” and it is helpful to understand what COPD is in medical terms. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a long-term lung disease that makes breathing difficult. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. This is the American Lung Association’s COPD definition, and their COPD Fact Sheet is an excellent resource for everything related to COPD. This fact sheet should be a reference for people who currently have COPD, could potentially be at ris, or who know someone who could potentially be at risk. Here are symptoms, fact, and treatments that are helpful to know when you’re wondering, “How is COPD diagnosed, and what is the COPD life expectancy?”
How Is COPD Diagnosed?
The most common COPD symptoms you should look for are:
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath, even with minimal activity
- Cough which produces mucus
- Wheezing in the chest
Although these symptoms are the most common, it is not guaranteed that every patient will have every one of them. So if you are experiencing any breathing problems, you should see your pulmonary doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.
COPD is a progressive disease, meaning it will eventually get worse, but if the right precautions are taken, a patient can actually slow down the decline of lung function. There are several treatments for COPD that will help in your everyday life.
- The first thing that all COPD patients need to do is to stop smoking immediately. · Continued use of cigarettes will make the disease progress much faster. However, there are other environmental factors, besides cigarette smoke, that can aggravate COPD. Avoid toxic fumes, smoke from grills and other indoor and outdoor fumes and pollutants. Those in professions that produce fumes and toxins, such as welders, will have to be aware of the fumes they work around every day.
- Another great option is to get referred to Pulmonary Rehab. This type of rehab will help set you up on a schedule to stay active in a way that is healthy for COPD patients. You will be trained how to breathe in different ways such as “pursed lip breathing,” as well as teaching you how to begin an exercise routine that will increase your stamina.
- Doctors also like to refer their patients to a nutritionist. This is because many people who suffer with COPD will lose weight and find it harder to eat and stay at a healthy weight. Nutritionists will help set up a diet plan specifically for COPD patients to help keep you healthy.
- In some more severe cases of COPD, sometimes oxygen therapy is prescribed. Medical equipment like oxygen concentrators and oxygen tanks can oftentimes help patients perform daily activities with more ease and also sleep more at night.
COPD Life Expectancy
Because there is no cure for COPD, many people wonder about the COPD life expectancy. There is not a clear-cut answer for this, because a variety of factors contribute to the severity of COPD and how quickly it progresses. For smokers and those with later stage COPD, there is a shortened life expectancy generally beginning at age 65. But the number of years lost from each person’s life expectancy varies depending on the COPD prognosis and other factors. The most important thing to remember is that smoking makes COPD worse, so the best thing you can do to slow the progression of your COPD and improve your life expectancy is to quit smoking. After that, talk to your doctor about how your COPD treatment plan can help you live the fullest, healthiest life possible.
How Inogen Can Help with COPD
When it comes to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, many people become frightened by their COPD prognosis and the symptoms they experience. However, there are many options for treating COPD, which can improve your COPD life expectancy and the way you live your life. For many people with COPD, one of those treatments is oxygen therapy, and Inogen can help make it easier for you.
When you think of oxygen therapy, you might picture large, cumbersome oxygen tanks, or being tethered by tubes to a big, stationary machine. For a long time, that is what oxygen therapy was like, but Inogen wanted to change it. Our mission has been to improve the quality of life for supplemental oxygen users, allowing patients to continue living a full, healthy and enjoyable life. Since large oxygen tanks and concentrators made that difficult, we developed a compact, lightweight, portable oxygen concentrator that allows users to go about their lives, even while receiving oxygen therapy. Our Inogen One oxygen concentrators free patients from managing heavy, awkward tanks and remembering to plan for refills. The Inogen One requires no refills and no tanks, because it simply purifies air continuously pulled from the atmosphere to deliver oxygen rich air to you. It can be used at home or on the go, traveling easily on wheels or in a pack. The Inogen One can travel with you, because it is powered by rechargeable battery or any AC or DC power source, and it is incredibly energy efficient, using about as much energy as a 40-watt light bulb. With the Inogen One System, you have the freedom, mobility and independence to enjoy the life you want to live, while still getting the benefits of your oxygen anytime, anywhere.
Talk to your doctor today about how to treat your COPD symptoms and improve your quality of life with the Inogen One portable oxygen concentrator. COPD may require some changes in your life, but you do not have to stop living it. Let Inogen help you breathe and live better.
Read more on the COPD Fact Sheet:
COPD is manageable but has no cure at this time, so it is important to talk with your Pulmonary Doctor to get the correct treatment. To get more information and facts on this lung disease please visit the COPD fact sheet here: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/copd/resources/facts-figures/COPD-Fact-Sheet.html.