Making Treatment Decisions

When you are diagnosed with COPD, you may have many questions and the answers may not always be clear at first.  Here are some resources to help you answer questions such as "What does this medical information mean to me?"  Everyone with COPD is not the same and the options for treatment are not the same.  We want you to be able to find the information you need, at the time you need it.

Please be sure to revisit our site whenever your treatment changes or you just need to know more.

COPD Medications

There are a variety of medicines available to treat COPD.  What is important to know is that there is no "best" medicine for all people.  Each person's COPD is different and your doctor and health care team will work with you to set up the best plan for you, based upon your symptoms and your needs. >> Learn more.

By taking the right medicine at the right time, you can

  • Breathe better
  • Do more of the things you want to do
  • Have fewer flare-ups

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

If you or someone you love suffers from chronic lung disease, like COPD, there is hope for rebuilding strength and enjoying a fuller, more active life. It's called pulmonary rehabilitation and thanks to a coming change in Medicare, it will soon be available to help even more people. >> Learn more

Supplemental Oxygen

Oxygen is an element, a gas, and a drug that can help people who have certain lung diseases.  The cells in the body get their energy from the interaction of oxygen with food.  The energy produced is used to do everything from breathing, to carrying out bodily functions, to going to the grocery store.  Sometimes with COPD, lung function is reduced to the extent that supplemental oxygen (also called oxygen therapy) is needed to continue normal bodily functions and daily activities.  >> Learn more 

Nutrition

Most people are surprised to learn that the food they eat may affect their breathing. Your body uses food as fuel for all of its activities. The right mix of nutrients in your diet can help you breathe easier. No single food will supply all the nutrients you need. A healthy diet has lots of variety. You and your health care team will work out a meal plan just for you. >> Learn more

Protecting Your Health

With COPD, a cold or other respiratory infection can become very serious.  >> Learn more 

There are several things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Avoids crowds during the cold and flu season
  • Ask extended family members and friends to be considerate of your COPD and the need to protect yourself from infection and keep visits to when they are healthy.
  • Good oral hygiene can protect you from the germs in your mouth leading to infections.  Brush your teeth at least twice a day and see your dentist at least every 6 months.
  • Get vaccinated.

Prescription Assistance

Millions of Americans have difficulty affording health care, including prescription medicines.  Many people lack health insurance and simply do not have the money to pay for the medicines they need.  Fortunately, there are services available that can help.  >> Learn more

Finding Health Care Coverage

Millions of Americans are without health care coverage.  For many of them, there are options for coverage and they don't even know it.  There is a guide to helping American navigate through their options for public and private health insurance.  For more information on your state's health coverage options, call the U.S. toll-free helpline 1-800-234-1317 or go to www.coverageforall.org sponsored by the Foundation for Health Coverage Education®.

Clinical Trials 

Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Each study answers scientific questions and tries to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose, or treat a disease. People who take part in clinical trials for COPD have an opportunity to contribute to knowledge of, and progress against COPD. They also receive up-to-date care from experts. >> Learn more 

Surgery

Some COPD patients with very severe symptoms may have a hard time breathing all the time.  In some of these cases, doctors may suggest lung surgery to improve breathing.  Not everyone is a candidate for lung surgery.  >> Learn more