How Can COPD Be Prevented From Progressing?
If you smoke, the most important thing you can do to stop more damage to your lungs is to quit smoking. Many hospitals have smoking cessation programs or can refer you to one.
It is also important to stay away from people who are smoking and places where you know there will be smokers.
Staying away from other lung irritants such as pollution, dust, and certain cooking or heating fumes is also important. For example, you should stay in your house when the outside air quality is poor.
Managing Complications and Preventing Sudden Onset of Problems
People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often have symptoms that suddenly get worse. When this happens, you have a much harder time catching your breath. You may also have chest tightness, more coughing, change in your sputum, and a fever. It is important to call your doctor if you have any of these signs or symptoms.
Your doctor will look at things that might be causing these signs and symptoms to suddenly worsen. Sometimes the signs and symptoms are caused by a lung infection. Your doctor may want you to take an antibiotic medicine that helps fight off the infection.
Your doctor may also recommend additional medicines to help with your breathing. These medicines include bronchodilators and glucocorticosteroids.
Your doctor may recommend that you spend time in the hospital if:
- You have a lot of difficulty catching your breath.
- You have a hard time talking.
- Your lips or fingernails turn blue or gray.
- You are not mentally alert.
- Your heartbeat is very fast.
- Home treatment of worsening symptoms doesn’t help.