COPD is a serious disease. People with COPD face physical challenges. They may also have worries and feelings that can make life difficult. If you or a loved one has COPD, there are steps to take to help cope with the lifestyle changes this disease brings. Knowing about COPD and its treatment can help you feel more in control.
- Don't smoke. If you are a smoker, there are many ways to get help with quitting. Talk to your doctor about products and medicines that can help you to quit. Join a quit smoking class like Freedom from Smoking®. Ask your family and friends to support you and ask them to help you manage your COPD by not smoking in your home or anywhere around you.
- Try to avoid dust and fumes and stay indoors on bad air days. Check daily air quality levels and air pollution forecasts in your area. Sources include local radio and TV weather reports, newspapers and online at www.epa.gov/airnow/.
- Get a flu shot every year. Ask your doctor if you should have the pneumonia vaccine.
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid being around others with colds and the flu.
- Eat a well-balanced diet and maintain your ideal body weight.
- Stay active and ask about exercises that will help you to get stronger and breathe easier.