Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease that obstructs air flow from the lungs. Symptoms may include an ongoing cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness. If you suspect a loved one may have COPD, what can you do?
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the answer is plenty.
They offer six tips on how you can help someone you suspect has COPD:
- Know the Symptoms – Symptoms can come on gradually, so people who may be experiencing them may not recognize that their lives are changing because of shortness of breath, wheezing, or chronic coughing.
- Talk About What They’re Missing – Discuss what the individual is missing because of their COPD symptoms, like taking walks or playing with grandchildren.
- Watch Daily Tasks – Are they getting harder for that person? If so, mention that you’ve noticed it’s more difficult for them to climb stairs or grocery shop.
- Suggest an Office Visit – A health care provider can diagnose COPD quickly and painlessly with a simple breathing test called spirometry.
- Encourage Your Loved One to Manage the Disease – Once diagnosed, there are many ways for an individual to manage COPD.
- Offer Resources to Help – Go online with your loved one to find information and resources. Visit copd.nhlbi.nih.gov to learn more about COPD and support group opportunities.