What you need to know about COPD

What you need to

know about COPD

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COPD is a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. It is most common in people over the age of 60 but can appear much earlier if you smoke, have smoked or have had a lot of serious lung infections¹.

 

There are many different symptoms but the most common are a long lasting cough or shortness of breath. Sometimes, these symptoms are seen as a normal part of aging, especially in people who smoke, but if you suspect that you, or someone you know, may have COPD, then talk to your doctor¹. It is important to start managing your symptoms as soon as possible so that you can minimize the impact COPD has on your breathing².

 

The following pages are here to help you understand more about COPD and how you can minimize the impact it has on your life.

COPD patient using a compressor nebulizer system
Elderly couple seated at a table reading about COPD on a laptop
What is COPD?
COPD is a term that covers a number of progressive lung conditions that make breathing difficult, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema¹.
Elderly gentleman sat on sofa wearing a nasal canula
I’ve just been diagnosed
If you’ve never heard of COPD, then being diagnosed can be frightening and overwhelming. The important thing is to remain calm and to learn more about how you can manage your symptoms.
Seated gentleman wearing a nasal canula receiving treatment for his COPD
How is COPD treated?
There are a variety of treatments available that can help you manage the symptoms of COPD on a daily basis³. These include medication, medicine delivery systems and supplemental oxygen⁴.
Close up of mans face contemplating COPD disease progression
Understanding disease progression
As a progressive disease, the symptoms of COPD that you experience are likely to increase in severity over time through four main stages. However, you can manage your symptoms and slow their progression⁵.
Two medical professionals greeting patient
COPD FAQs
If you’ve been diagnosed with COPD, then you are sure to have many questions about the disease, the treatments available and how it might affect your life. We’ve brought together many up-to-date resources to help you find all the answers⁶.
Two ladies sat across from one another at a desk, one explaining lung function and COPD with the use of a diagram.
World COPD Day
World COPD Day is an annual event designed to raise awareness and to improve the care of those with COPD around the world. It’s important to know that you’re not alone⁷.

Patient stories

 

Discover how to confidently manage your COPD by maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle – read how people at every stage of the disease have used different therapies and techniques to manage their COPD.

 

Take a look at our patient stories

References

1. Web MD. What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?
http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/tc/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-copd-overview 
Accessed on 4 August 2015.

2. Healthline. COPD and You: Managing Your Symptoms.
http://www.healthline.com/health/copd/and-you-symptom-management#1
Accessed on 10 July 2015.

3. Web MD. COPD treatments, improving your quality of life.
http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/copd-treatments-improving-your-quality-of-life
Accessed on 19 June 2015.

4. American Lung Association. Treatment options.
http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/copd/treating-copd/treatment-options.html
Accessed on 4 August 2015.

5. Healthline. COPD: Symptoms and Stages.
http://www.healthline.com/health/copd/stages#Overview1 
Access on 6 June 2015.

6. Web MD. 10 FAQs About Living With COPD.
http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/10-faqs-about-living-with-copd 
Access on 5 August 2015.

7. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).
http://www.goldcopd.org/wcd-about.html
Accessed on 24 June 2015.