It is inevitable that your life will change after being diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It may not be as easy to do the things you used to do before. Not only are there physical challenges, there are emotional challenges too. The good news is that you can find support to help you make lifestyle changes, better manage your COPD and enhance your quality of life.

Managing COPD

Many people are able to maintain a good quality of life while living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The information below includes ideas for changes you can make to stay active and enjoy your life while managing the disease.

  • Protecting Your Lungs
    When you have COPD, your lungs are weakened. Learn how to reduce exposure to anything that could make your COPD worse or cause an exacerbation, a worsening or a "flare up" of COPD.
  • COPD Management Tools
    Use our tools and resources to make a plan that is right for you.
  • Nutrition
    Most people are surprised to learn that the food they eat may affect their breathing. The right mix of nutrients in your diet can help you breathe easier.
  • Physical Activity
    When you have COPD, the right amount and type of exercise has many benefits and is an important part of staying healthy.
  • Coping with Emotions
    Getting emotional support is just as important as protecting your lungs and staying active. Learn how to recognize and handle feelings of fear, anxiety, depression or stress.
  • Planning for the Future with COPD
    Discuss these important points about your future care with your doctors and caregivers.

Finding Support

An important part of living with COPD is finding the right support, both for you and your caregivers. See where you can find help from others who share common experiences, get tips on paying for care and learn how you can advocate to improve the lives of others with COPD.

Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel.

Page last updated: November 17, 2022

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