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Life Expectancy with COPD

Life Expectancy with COPD

There are currently over 24 million people in America suffering from COPD. This condition worsens the condition of the lungs, making breathing harder. As time passes it gets worse and takes its final toll on the patient. This is the nature of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

COPD is a term used to describe two different conditions known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. However, both conditions are characterised by their ability to restrict airflow into and out of the lungs that makes breathing difficult. Till date, there is no cure for COPD. There are treatments to help reduce the progression of the disease, but that’s it. The most common question among patients suffering this disease is: How much time do I have?

Let’s talk about COPD life expectancy.

How Much Time Do Most People Have?

There is an unfortunate fact that patients will die at some point during the span of this disease. So what is the life expectancy of COPD patients?

The truth remains that there is no simple answer to this question. Having such a severe and progressive disease will surely shorten one’s lifespan. However, the life expectancy of any COPD patient depends on different variables, like the overall health condition of such person, medical history and some personal habits. A method used by doctors to determine a patient’s life expectancy is the GOLD system. The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease developed a measurement system that helps track the progression of COPD by stages. Here are the stages:

  • Stage 1 – very mild COPD
  • Stage 2 – moderate COPD
  • Stage 3 – severe emphysema/chronic bronchitis
  • Stage 4 – very severe COPD

Each stage in COPD makes a different impact on each patient, but the general principle is that the higher the stage of COPD, the shorter the life expectancy. Another measurement method used is the BODE index. This method keeps track of your body mass index, airflow obstruction, dyspnea and a person’s exercise capacity.

By using the GOLD System, researchers are able to track years of patients with COPD. The results also shows that current or ongoing smokers have a shorter life expectancy than patients that quit.

How can I treat COPD?

There are lots of treatment methods available for COPD. However, there is no “best” method as different patients have different symptoms. Therefore we advice you contact your doctors to determine the best treatment option for your COPD condition.


The Relationship between COPD and Heart Problems

The Relationship between COPD and Heart Problems

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the Unites states, followed by cancer. However, most people don’t know that Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases like COPD is the third leading cause of death. COPD and heart problems, especially heart failure, have one symptom in common- difficulty in breathing. Hence, most people with heart problems tend to find it difficult to exercise, climb stair or even walk distances.

If you have COPD and heart problems, it can be very difficult to identify the main cause of your shortness of breath. Here is what you need to know about the relationship between COPD and heart problems.

Shortness of Breath: Heart failure or COPD?

Shortness of breath is a common symptom between COPD and heat failure. Its important to know the difference between shortness of breath by COPD and heart failure.

Shortness of Breath by Heart Failure: In patients with heart failure, the heart find it difficult pumping blood. When such patient is in a resting state, they tend not to have difficulty breathing. However, with a little exertion, the heart needs to work harder to provide blood to the body and lungs and if it cannot keep up with this demand, blood can back up in the lungs, causing fluid congestion and shortness of breath.

Shortness of Breath Caused by COPD: Just as in the case of people with heart failure, people with COPD also enjoy a normal breathing condition in resting state. However, when in action, especially demanding ones, the lungs find it hard to bring in enough oxygen, despite heavy breathing.

When a COPD patient exhales, they are not able to push out all the oxygens I their lungs. Therefore, when they inhale their next breath before all of their previous breath has been expelled. The result is shortness of breath.

Main Types of Heart Failure: According to the American Heart Association, there are three primary types of heart failures namely:

Left-Sided Heart Failure- Results in the inability of the heart to fill with enough blood during the resting period between each beat.

Right-Sided Heart Failure- Results in increased fluid pressure, and weakness in the right ventricle.

Congestive Heart Failure- Results in edema or swelling of the legs and ankles.

COPD with Left-Sided Heart Failure: The truth remains that COPD is not directly related to Left-Sided Heart Failure. However, they can aggravate each other. When blood is not well oxygenated due to COPD, there is more stress on the heart. And when there is an excess of fluid in the lungs from left-sided heart failure, it could make breathing more difficult for someone with COPD.

COPD with Right-Sided Heart Failure: Unlike the left-sided heart failure, COPD can actually affect the heart’s right side ventricle. The excess strain from pulmonary hypertension on the right ventricle can result in heart failure. You should also note that other medical conditions could also be the cause of a right-sided heart failure.

How do you know if you have COPD and Heart Problems?

If you are concerned about these conditions or you feel you might be experiencing COPD and heart problems, you should consider visiting your doctor immediately. Fata congestive heart failure strikes without any warning. However, with the right medication, you can control hypertension and any other condition that may lead to heart failure.

The Difference between COPD and Pulmonary Fibrosis

Respiratory Problems: The Difference between COPD and Pulmonary Fibrosis

Chronic Pulmonary Disease is a type of disease that makes it hard to actually recognise what you have and what to do to get better. Perhaps the most common type of chronic pulmonary disease is the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which is more popular as COPD. However, an overlooked type of chronic pulmonary disease is the Pulmonary Fibrosis.

What is COPD?

Known to cause respiratory complications, COPD is usually developed through smoking cigarette. Other uncommon causes of COPD include air pollution and generic disorder which known as alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency.

Its major characteristic is its ability to cause restriction of air flow in and out of the lungs, thereby making it difficult to breathe. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis fall under the category of COPD.

Symptoms of COPD:

The most common symptom of COPD is the shortness of breath. While this can be worse after some rigorous physical activity, people with COPD can experience shortness of breath even when lying down. COPD patients might also experience anxiety and tightness in their chest.

Another symptom associated with COPD is constant coughing. This is as a result of mucus build-up, which is common among COPD patients. Some common respiratory diseases are also associated with COPD. COPD patients may also experience pneumonia or bronchitis as a result of their disease.

What is Pulmonary Fibrosis?

A person with pulmonary fibrosis also suffer short of breath, just like in COPD. However, you should note that pulmonary fibrosis is a different respiratory disease altogether and one distinct symptom of this disease is the scarring of lung tissue. This scars cause the passage ways to thicken and harden, making it difficult for oxygen to travel through the lungs’ walls and into the bloodstream.

Pulmonary fibrosis falls under a large category of lung disease that affects rate of oxygen absorbed into the lungs. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a form of pulmonary fibrosis for which there is no known cause.

In most cases, pulmonary fibrosis is caused by on-the-job environmental toxins, such as silica dust, burn pits and herbicides. Just like COPD, it can also be drug-induced, stemming from treatments such as radiation therapy, antibiotics and anticonvulsants. You should also be informed that pulmonary fibrosis can actually be genetic. When compared to COPD, it is more difficult to determine the cause of pulmonary fibrosis.

Pulmonary Fibrosis Symptoms:

Due to the difference in body and genetics, we all have varying symptoms. In some cases, the disease progresses very quickly, while other people will experience moderate symptoms for years. The most common symptom of this disease is shortness of breath. Other common symptoms include: weakness, achy joints and weight fatigue, coughing and weight loss.

Treatment Options for Pulmonary

Both COPD and Pulmonary Fibrosis are serious respiratory problems as they make living an active life very difficult. While there is no current cure to both, there are ways to manage their symptoms effectively. These ways include oxygen therapy, daily medications and, for some, stem cell therapy.

Tips to Reduce COPD Chest Tightness

Tips to Reduce Chest Tightness

A common symptom of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is chest tightness.  It is usually a term used to describe continuous pain in the chest and this can lead to breathing difficulties and ultimately the loss of breath. Known to be a major cause for anxiety and panic attacks, chest tightness can cause some major setback to one’s daily activities.

Although there are some treatment options to help fight COPD symptoms along with the potential to slow disease progression and improve quality of life, sometimes some tips on the best ways to manage your daily symptoms can be a vital tool for enjoying a healthy day.

With this in mind, we have come up with 5 tips to help reduce chest tightness.

What is Chest Tightness?

Like we said earlier, chest tightness is another word used to describe chest pain. At its peak, chest pain can cause similar symptoms of a heart or anxiety attack. These situations are usually caused due to rapid breathing when trying to breathe faster as a result of anxiety.

Chest tightness may occur on a frequent or consistent basis. It often feels like a sharp pinch within the chest leading to long-lasting pain, pressure or numbness. Although this chest pain may feel like it’s coming from your heart, most diagnosis proves that they are unrelated to the heart. However, whenever you notice this symptom you should call your doctor to find the best way to manage this situation.

So, how do you reduce Chest Tightness?

Slow your breathing: Since rapid breathing can lead to chest tightness, you should try to slow down your breathing. To do this, you have to create a sense of control over your inhalation. Breathing techniques like Pursed Lips Breathing can be of help in these situations.

Take More Deep Breaths: During meditation, you are usually advised to breath in slowly and exhale slowly. You don’t have to focus on the amount of air you inhale, instead focus more on the how long you are able to inhale and exhale.

Inhaling for a total count of 8 and exhaling for the same count can be a beneficial practice.

Work on your Posture: When trying to improve your breathing, your posture maters a lot. You should maintain a straight back, keep your hands on your thighs. You also want to make sure your tongue touches the roof of your mouth. To achieve a better result, you should breathe in through the nose and exhale through the mouth.

Change Diet: This is one of the most important steps to fight COPD. A simple bloating can lead to deep chest pain and lots of discomfort. Avoid fatty, processed and fried foods as they only contribute to pile up gas in the body and this leads to pressure and pain within the chest.

Seek Medication: After you have tries several self-help with no sign of success, you should know the right time to seek professional help. Contact your doctors on time, they can help find out the root cause of the symptom and suggest the best medication to fight it.

The feeling of chest tightening can be very frustrating, especially when living with COPD. In a bid to solve this problem, the first step you should be taking is quitting smoking. Though it can be very hard to adapt to, we advise a change in your daily lifestyle like changing your diet to more nourished ones and exercising more.

Emphysema Treatment Options

Emphysema Treatment Options

Emphysema is a progressive disease, which means like COPD, it gets worse. It’s a condition that affects the lungs, causing breath shortage and reduce respiratory functionality. This forces the other body organs to work harder trying to spread enough oxygen around the body. While there is no cure for this disease, there are some treatment options which have been proven to help improve one’s quality of life.

What are the available Emphysema treatment options?

Most treatment options for this disease is usually geared towards fighting the following:

  • bronchial muscle contraction
  • mucus and congestion
  • inflammation of the airways
  • airway secretions

To get a perfect treatment method, you should visit your doctor. By doing this you are able to find the root cause of the disease and design the best treatment plan to manage it. In most cases, this treatment plan may include inhalers, oral medications, supplemental oxygen, surgery, pulmonary rehab and stem cell therapy.

Inhalers: This treatment method contains inhaled medications that can help relax the air passageways, improving airflow in and out of the lungs. They are of two types- those which provide short term relief and those with long term relief of symptoms and flair ups.

Inhaled steroids, such as corticosteroids, are frequently prescribed since they help to reduce inflammation and relieve emphysema symptoms.

Oral Medications: Oral medications are usually prescribed to help you breathe better and to increase your endurance ability. The most common oral medication provided with bronchodilators is prednisone. In some cases, antibiotics is given to prevent pulmonary infections like pneumonia.

Supplemental Oxygen: Supplemental oxygen is used by most patients to aid oxygen circulation. Some patients need it for the whole day while others use it as needed. One down side of this treatment method is the weight of these tanks as they are made of steel or aluminum and can be bulky.

Surgery: This is usually used as a last resort. The lung reduction surgery can help to reduce emphysema symptoms but cannot be performed on older adults due to its risks. Generally, those that suffer damages that are centralized on the upper lobes of both lungs tend to benefit more from this method.

Pulmonary Rehab: This is an effective treatment method which is usually recommended after a lung reduction surgery or as part of a treatment plan. It is very effective at helping to improve your exercise tolerance, reduce flare-ups and improve overall quality of life. It helps to restore the highest-level lung function possible by embedding different activities, treatment options and techniques.

Stem Cell Therapy: This is one treatment option that has been proven to help numerous patients improve their quality of life. Instead of focusing on the symptoms, stem cell therapy focuses on the disease as a whole.

COPD and Meal Prep

COPD and Meal Prep: Ways to Make Mealtime Easier

It is obvious that eating with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease can be very difficult. The thought of shoving food into your throat despite having a shortage of breath can be disturbing. Not to mention how shortage of breath and fatigue can make preparing the simplest meal impossible.  It can be harder to eat with COPD; however, you can follow these tips to COPD and meal prep more manageable and enjoyable.

Focus on Nutrition: When planning your meals, you should focus more on nutritious foods that helps to prepare your body for the task ahead. According to researches carried out by the Cleveland Clinic, people with COPD spend more energy trying to breathe unlike people who don’t. The muscles necessary for breathing consumes 10 times more calories in people with COPD unlike those without it. To fight this, it is important for people with COPD to consume more calories. However, the quality of food is also as important.

A healthy COPD diet should include:

  • Protein
  • Vitamin D
  • Fish
  • Water
  • Avoid bad foods

Keep it Simple: You should consider making foods with lesser ingredients and lesser preparation time. This is because breathing is harder with COPD and this leads to fatigue and therefore can be very hard to cook with this condition. Your focus should be on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains.

If cooking looks unrealistic or can only be done for a few times a week, you should consider buying ready-made food, but it has to be healthy.

One Bite at a Time: Don’t rush the food- take small bites and make sure to take deep breaths while chewing. Drop your utensils and focus more on the color and flavour of your food. By doing this, you get to eat more consciously, making breathing easier while eating.

To achieve a better result, you should consume easy to chew foods like salmon.

Plan Your Meal Times: We all have different energy levels throughout the day. You should try to know your body’s ability. If your energy level is less around 4:00 but more at 7:00, you should consider rescheduling your meal time. You should eat your heavy meals when your energy is at its max.

Meal Prep

COPD and meal prep can go hand in hand if well planned. You should take on meals with lesser ingredients, preparation time and make a lot of meals. Some of the best choices include: Quinoa bowls, soups, chili or other foods with easy storage.

Once you have made a choice, plan your cooking time to when you have the most energy during the day.

If a person suffers COPD, stem cell therapy is a good option for treatment as it has been proven to improve your quality of life and make daily tasks like meal prep easier.


Why is there no COPD Cure?

Why is there no COPD Cure? The Breakdown.

This is a common question among most patients: Why is there no cure for COPD?

As of today, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is said to affect over 600 million people. It is also predicted to become the third leading cause of death by 2020. This goes to show that COPD is a global problem for all as it has the ability to affect many of us and people we know. Although there are many alternative forms of treatment, with the increase in the number of COPD patients around the world, the first question from patients who suffer COPD is “is there a cure?” Unfortunately, the answer is no and this leads to the next big question “why?”

With this concern in mind, we have come up with an answer to this question: Why is there no cure for COPD?

What is a Cure?

Let’s start first by defining what a cure is. A cure is usually defined as any procedure or substance that puts an end to a medical condition. It may be a type of medication, a surgical operation, a change in lifestyle or even a philosophical mindset. The key here is the ability to end a medical condition. A typical example of cure is the use of antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection.

However, with COPD, the lung tissues continually deteriorate within the lungs and the medication to this continuous degeneration and to stop the damage is yet to be found.

What is COPD?

Like we said earlier, COPD is a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease which affects millions of Americans today. Classified as an obstructive lung disease, it causes air limitation when breathing in and out, the typical effect of this disease is tissue degeneration. As the lung tissues breakdown, it deteriorates the small airways of the lungs, leading to the formation of large air pockets which replace lung tissue.

Although the development of COPD is not always as a result of smoking, it is often caused by the constant exposure to cigarette smoke or other irritants. The rate at which COPD develops is often based on the body’s inflammatory response to these inhaled irritants. As the body’s immune system goes to work (causing inflammation), it causes the destruction of the connective tissue of the lungs (emphysema), which obstructs airflow and causes poor respiratory function. As the airways of the lungs continue to be inflamed, they begin to narrow and exhibit scarring from within. This condition leads to the inability to breathe out fully.

What’s the way forward?

It is important to know the journey ahead in the treatment of COPD. Although being diagnosed with COPD can cause some mental and emotional stress, the most important step to take when fighting this disease is to face is head-on. Asides form quitting smoking, changing one’s diet and partaking in frequent exercise are some of the beneficial lifestyle changes one can make. However, if you really want to fight this disease directly, it is time to consider stem therapy.

Stem therapy directly affects disease progression instead of addressing just COPD symptoms. It is also a proven option to improve quality of life and pulmonary function. For people with lung disease, a change in lifestyle can do a lot of good to help maintain a healthy active life.

Natural copd Treatment

Natural copd Treatment

There are many natural treatment options for different ailments- including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). However, people diagnosed with COPD should be careful when using these supplements as there is no specific prescription for it.

Unlike the prescription drugs which are regulated by the Food and Drug administration, these natural treatment options are not regulated by the government and they are yet to be extensively researched on. Therefore, most doctors cannot guarantee the effectiveness of these supplements, as well as their side effects.

Below are some natural treatment options for COPD and some comments from experts on their effectiveness.

Bromelain: This supplement is gotten from the enzymes located in the stem and juice of a pineapple. It is said to aid the reduction of inflammation associated with COPD, but according to the National Institutes of Health, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

Coenzyme Q10: This antioxidant is produced naturally by the body and has been said to increase cell activity while reducing inflammation in people with COPD. According to some researches, people living with COPD are known to have low levels of coenzyme Q10; however, there is no proof that taking the supplement improves conditions.

L-Carnitine: Usually produced in the body, the L-Carnitine is used to burn body fat and boost energy. For COPD patients, this supplement helps to strengthen muscles and improve endurance during exercise. Research has proven that COPD patients who take this supplements show significant improvement during walking exercise programs.

N-acetylcysteine: The N-acetylcysteine is an antioxidant which is available as an over-the-counter dietary supplement. It has been tested for its role in breaking down the mucus that clogs the lungs of people living with COPD. To date, research has showed mixed results on the supplement’s effectiveness.

Antioxidant vitamins: Vitamins A, C and E have been proven to improve the lung function in people with COPD since they contain antioxidants. Studies have shown that people living with COPD have low levels of antioxidant-rich vitamins, and this deficiency can result in decreased pulmonary function. Further, studies have proven that COPD patients whose diets are rich in fruits and vegetables, which is a good source of vitamins A, C and E, saw improved lung function.


It is important to note that natural supplements cannot be used as the sole source of COPD treatment. Make sure to consult your doctor before adding any supplement to your diet and ensure they don’t affect your current treatment plan.

Causes of COPD

Causes of COPD

The symptoms of COPD often don’t become noticeable at the early stages; they are usually seen after the lungs have experienced severe damage and one common thing is that they worsen over time, especially when the patient continues smoking. The major symptoms for COPD is the daily cough and production of mucus for three months in a year.

Some other symptoms include:

  • Loss of energy
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Recurrent respiratory infections
  • Weight loss
  • Many more.

In some cases, COPD patients also experience exacerbations, were symptoms become worse than usual and this persists for at least several days.

What Causes COPD?

The known primary cause of COPD in most developed countries is the smoking of Tobacco. While in developing worlds, COPD occurs due to consistent exposure to fumes from fuels for cooking, especially in poorly ventilated homes.

It is worth knowing that only a few percentage of chronic smokers often develop clinical COPD, although most people with a long history of smoking may develop reduced lung function. You should not make a conclusion about your COPD condition until a thorough evaluation is performed.

How is the Lung Affected?

When you breathe in, the air travels through your windpipe and into the lungs through two tubes which are divided into smaller tubes that ends in a bunch of tiny air sacs.

These tiny sacs contain thin walls which contains some tiny blood vessels. The oxygen in the air you breathe in is passed through these blood vessels and into your blood stream. Simultaneously, carbon dioxide- which is the waste product- is exhaled.

To function effectively, the lungs rely on the elasticity of the tubes and air sacs to push out air. COPD causes them to lose their elasticity, meaning air is trapped in the lungs when exhaling.

Causes of Airway Obstruction:

The major reasons for airway blockage include:

Emphysema- This is a disease that destroys the elastic walls of the tiny air sacs. It causes small airways to collapse, thereby, causing obstruction of airflow when you exhale.

Chronic Bronchitis- Here, the large tubes become inflamed and narrowed, causing your lungs to produce more mucus, which can further affect the narrowed lungs. At this stage, you develop chronic cough while trying to clear the airways.


Effect of Cigarette Smoking and other irritants

 In most cases, COPD is caused by long term exposure to cigarette smoking. But there are other likely factors that contribute to the development of COPD, such as the genetic susceptibility of COPD, because only 30% of smokers may develop COPD.

Other irritants which can lead to the development of COPD include cigar smoke, second-hand smoke, pipe smoke, air pollution and workplace exposure to dust, smoke or fumes.

Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency: This is another cause of COPD which is most noticed in 1 percent of COPD patients. The disease is caused by a genetic disorder that causes low levels of a protein called alpha-1-antitrypsin. Made in the liver and secreted into the blood stream, the alpha-1-antitrypsin helps to protect the lungs. Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency can cause damages to the liver and lungs.

Adults diagnosed with COPD related to AAt deficiency are provided with same treatment options as the common COPD. They can also be treated by replacing the missing AAt protein to prevent further damage to the lungs.

Risk Factors of COPD:

People who engage in the following activities are exposed to high risk of COPD.

  • Exposure to tobacco smoke
  • Asthma patients who smoke
  • Exposure to dust and chemicals
  • Age
  • Genetic disorder (e.g Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency)

Complications: People who suffer COPD are likely to face many complications, including:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Heart problems
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure in lung arteries
  • Respiratory infections

How is COPD Treated?

How is COPD Treated?

Being diagnosed with COPD can be moral draining, but it should not be the end of the world. In most cases, people diagnosed with COPD are at the mild stage of the disease. People at this stage can make use of little therapy sessions. Even for the advances stages, the use of effective therapy can help manage symptoms and reduce risk of complications and improve your ability to continue an active life.

Treatment options for COPD:

The following are some treatment options available for people diagnosed with COPD.

Smoking Cessation: The first stem any COPD patient should take is to stop smoking. It is the only way to avoid worsening COPD- which can lead to further lung damage, making it hard to breathe. Quitting smoking is not as easy as it sounds, and if you have tried without success, then consult your doctor for nicotine replacement products and medications that might help, as well as how to handle relapses.

You doctor might also suggest support groups for people who want to quit smoking. However, you should also avoid second-hand smoke whenever possible.

Medications: There are several types of medications available for COPD. Some may be taken on a regular basis and others as needed. Some available medications for COPD include:

Bronchodilators- These medications usually come in an inhaler and they are used to help reduce coughing and shortness of breath, making breathing easier. This medication is of two types- the short-acting bronchodilator which is used before activities and a long-acting bronchodilator that you use every day or both.

Inhaled Steroids- The inhaled steroids are used to help in the reduction of airway inflammation and to help prevent exacerbation. However, they come with side effects like bruising, oral infections and hoarseness.

Combination Inhalers- These medications combine the properties of both the bronchodilators and the inhaled steroids. Typical example of these medications includes Salmeterol and fluticasone (Advair) and formoterol and budesonide (Symbicort).

Oral Steroids: This medication is used for patients who experience severe acute exacerbations. Short courses of this medication help to prevent further worsening of COPD. However, the continuous use of this medication leads to side effects like weight gain, diabetes, osteoporosis, cataracts and an increased risk of infection.

Antibiotics- Some respiratory infections like the acute bronchitis, pneumonia and influenza, can worsen COPD symptoms. Antibiotics are very good at treating acute exacerbations, but they aren’t generally recommended for prevention.

Lung Therapies: This is another treatment option for COPD and it is commonly used for patients with moderate or severe COPD. These therapies include:

Oxygen Therapy- This type of therapy helps to provide enough oxygen in the blood, helping to improve quality of life. It is the only COPD therapy proven to extend life.

Pulmonary rehabilitation program- This program involves the combination of education, exercise training, nutrition advice and counselling, allowing You to work with a variety of specialists, who can tailor your rehabilitation program to meet your needs.

Surgery: This is a treatment option used for patients with severe emphysema and have not experienced success by using medications alone. Surgical options include:

  • Lung transplant
  • Lung volume reduction surgery
  • Bullectomy

Despite ongoing treatment, you may experience times when COPD symptoms get worse. This is called exacerbation, and it may lead to lung failure if treatment is not received on time.

You doctors may recommend additional medications like antibiotics or steroids. Once symptoms improve, your doctor will talk with you about ways to prevent future exacerbations, such as quitting smoking, taking inhaled steroids, long-acting bronchodilators or other medications, getting your annual flu vaccine, and avoiding air pollution whenever possible.


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