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When treating COPD, the goals of the treatment program are focused on relieving symptoms, improving exercise tolerance, and improving your overall health. Although COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) cannot be cured, seeking proper treatment as soon as possible can help slow down the progression of the disease. Common treatment options include bronchodilators, pulmonary rehabilitation, oxygen therapy, and surgery.

Treatments for COPD: An Introduction

Quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of developing COPD (chronic pulmonary obstructive disease) and to slow down the progress of the disease.
Your doctor will recommend treatment that helps relieve your symptoms and helps you breathe easier. However, COPD cannot be cured.
The goals of treating COPD are to:
  • Relieve your symptoms with no or minimal side effects
  • Slow down the progress of the disease
  • Improve your exercise tolerance (your ability to stay active)
  • Prevent and treat complications and sudden onset of problems
  • Improve your overall health.
Treatment is different for each person. It is based on whether your symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe. Your family doctor may also recommend that you see a lung specialist called a pulmonologist.
Treatment for COPD may involve one (or a combination) of these methods:
  • Medications
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Oxygen
  • Surgery.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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