More Ways to Manage COPD

Exercise Training
Your program may include exercise training. This training includes teaching you exercises to help your arms and legs get stronger. You may also learn exercises that strengthen the muscles needed for breathing.
Many pulmonary rehab programs have an educational component, during which you learn about your disease and symptoms, commonly used COPD treatments, different techniques to manage your symptoms, and what you should expect from the program. The education may include meeting with a dietitian to learn about your diet and healthy eating tips, with an occupational therapist to learn ways to carry out your everyday activities that are easier on your breathing, or with a respiratory therapist to learn about breathing techniques and how to do respiratory treatments.
Evaluating Program Results
You will talk with your pulmonary rehab team at different times during your program to go over the goals that you set and see if you are meeting them. For example, if your goal is to walk every day for 30 minutes, you will talk to members of your pulmonary team and tell them how often you are walking and for how long. The team is interested in helping you do what you want to do.

Oxygen as a Treatment for COPD

If you have severe COPD and low levels of oxygen in your blood, this means you are not getting enough oxygen on your own. Your doctor may recommend oxygen therapy as part of your treatment to help with shortness of breath. You may need extra oxygen all the time or some of the time. For some people with severe COPD, using extra oxygen for more than 15 hours a day can help them:
  • Do tasks or activities with less shortness of breath
  • Protect the heart and other organs from damage
  • Sleep more during the night and improve alertness during the day
  • Live longer.

Information on COPD

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