Ask the Expert
How can I best manage Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
Although COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cannot be cured, it can certainly be managed—and there are a variety of things you can do for yourself. COPD is a progressive disease that can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness among other symptoms.
If you smoke, quitting is the most important thing you can do to slow progression of the disease and improve your quality of life. Talk to your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit. If you have trouble quitting on your own, consider joining a support group, like those available through PIH Health.
In addition, avoid triggers, such as air pollution, second-hand smoke and places with dust, fumes and other toxic substances that you may inhale. Other things that can make a difference include eating well (possibly eating smaller, more frequent meals or taking nutritional supplements), as well as staying active to improve your overall wellness and strengthen the muscles that help you breathe. Lastly, you can practice breathing therapies and learn new coping strategies to deal with anxiety or depression. Remember, each person’s COPD is different, so it’s important to work with your doctor to find the plan that works best for you.
Nadeem Chishti MD
Wells Medical Office Building
12462 Putnam St #208
Whittier, CA 90602