Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects an estimated 24 million individuals in the U.S. It is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases, such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. Bronchiectasis is a disease in which there is permanent enlargement of parts of the airways of the lungs.
Most cases of COPD are caused by inhaling pollutants, including smoking and second-hand smoke. In addition, fumes, chemicals and dust found in many work environments also contribute to the development of COPD. Lastly, genetics can also play a role in an individual’s development of this disease, even if the person has never smoked or has ever been exposed to pollutants in the workplace.
Symptoms of COPD can often mimic those of other respiratory diseases. These include increased breathlessness, frequent coughing (with and without sputum), wheezing, and tightness in the chest.
Although there is no cure for COPD, there are numerous measures you can take to prevent it from getting worse. People living with this disease should take extra care to protect their lungs and stay healthy. This includes quitting smoking (and avoiding second hand smoke whenever possible), eating right, avoiding chemicals, breathing clean air, and getting annual flu vaccinations.
If you live with COPD, you may benefit from lifestyle changes to help you stay active and improve your overall health. If necessary, a team of specialists may offer advice on nutrition, breathing exercises and other types of exercises for management of COPD, as well as its education and management.
Although medications cannot cure COPD or reverse lung damage caused by smoking, they can help to open up airways, reduce airway inflammation, and fight bacterial infections.
If you suffer from severe COPD, your body may not get enough oxygen on its own. It would be beneficial to use a type of oxygen treatment. This can protect your organs, improve your sleep and daily activities, and ultimately help you to live longer.
If you have severe COPD with significant lung damage, you may need surgery, especially if you have severe symptoms, can’t control your COPD with medications, or have trouble breathing most of the time.
Avanti Senior Living
The Avanti Senior Living wellness program, Mind. Body. Strength, is an overall curriculum that focuses on an individual’s body as a whole. The program centers on every part of wellness by offering various types of intellectual and relaxing activities for the mind; full-service salon, spa, and massages for the body; and yoga, strength training, and exercise classes for strength. With this holistic approach to health, one can grow stronger in mind and body, and reach one’s true potential.