COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an irreversible condition of the respiratory system that causes impaired oxygenation due to cigarette smoking and infection. It is incurable, definitely one’s price to pay for years of chronic chain-smoking or exposure to harmful toxic irritants that shouldn’t be there in the lungs in the first place. The good news is that the disease is manageable and treatment is geared towards improving the quality of life of the patient and alleviating the discomforts that the disease inflicts on the body. Depending on the causative agent or the predisposing factors that triggered the onset of COPD, your doctor will have to devise a treatment care plan that’s definitely suitable to your needs. When you have COPD, you have to make steps to change some habits in your lifestyle like totally quitting smoking, and management of poor gas exchange via oxygen therapy.
There are three main goals that need to be established in order for the course of treatment and remedy of COPD complications and discomforts to be relieved as much as possible. First off, prevent or curb the progressive worsening of impaired lung functioning. Next is to address the symptoms and alleviate suffering. And of course, improve the total quality of life and enable the patient to still perform his daily activities with ease.
Since COPD causes shortness of breath and poor oxygenation due to the obstruction in the respiratory tract, bronchodilators are used in order to facilitate inhalation and expiration effectively. Bronchodilators are medications that are usually in the form of inhalants. They relax and dilate the bronchi, the parts of the lungs where gas exchange between the pulmonary system and the bloodstream actually takes place. In the past, bronchodilators are dispensed in oral form, but since it takes a little while before oral meds could take effect, inhalants were made for easier absorption.
Of course the most important thing that a COPD patient and the entire health care team to consider are major lifestyle changes that the patient has to make possible. These include cutting down on cigarette smoking. If you’re a chronic smoker, you can’t get off the habit in the blink of an eye. Gradual quitting works. A balanced diet, healthy lifestyle, and appropriate oxygen therapy are also very important.