One of the most difficult conditions chronic conditions facing Americans today is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, commonly known as COPD. Among risk factors for COPD, cigarette smoking is the leading cause. However, this is not the exclusive cause, as other lung irritants—such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust—also may contribute to COPD.
COPD leads to increased coughing, shortness of breath, decreased lung capacity, and other serious side effects. It is typically broken into two main presentations, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The severity of this condition, coupled with the fact that there is no true cure, only various treatments, has made COPD the third leading cause of death in the US today. However, by utilizing various therapy and treatment options, as well as timely lifestyle changes, treating COPD has never been more manageable.
COPD has no sudden onset, and indeed develops progressively and over time. What might be classified at first as simple loss of energy or harder breathing due to aging can actually be the early onset of decreased lung capacity. The first, and most essential, element of both preventing and slowing the onset of COPD is to stop smoking. Smoking is far and away the leading risk factor for COPD. Additionally, regular exercise and respiratory activity can help stimulate the tissues and capillaries of your lungs, which are the areas directly impacted by COPD. Treating COPD is largely a matter of being proactive, since the disease cannot be cured.
However, for those already suffering from varying levels of COPD onset, sometimes more reactive measures are needed. The most common therapy for COPD is oxygen therapy. Due to difficulty absorbing oxygen through the lungs due to COPD effects, the addition of oxygen to the bloodstream is often necessary to preserve patient quality of life. With the help of your prescribing doctor, you can be set up with a home oxygen concentrator, portable concentrator, or various sizes and levels of portability of oxygen cylinders. An experienced durable medical provider like Aeroflow Healthcare can assist you with setting up your oxygen safely in your home, as well as ensuring your cylinders and equipment are serviced regularly.
Beyond oxygen therapy, the other main therapy for COPD is either or a combination of nebulizers or inhalers. Bronchodilators are medicines that relax the tissue around your airways, making breathing easier. These can be inhaled by either various types of inhalers, or a nebulizer. Inhalers are often preferred by patients for treating COPD, due to their easy portability. However, a home nebulizer can sometimes be the most effective way of treating flare ups resulting from chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which often comprise COPD. By inhaling bronchodilating medications with either an inhaler or nebulizer, patients with COPD can see rapid relief from dramatic COPD symptom onsets.
COPD is unquestionably a difficult and life-changing condition, but with proper management and proactive measures, it does not have to rob you or someone you love of their quality of life. If you or someone you know is suffering from COPD, or you believe they may be at risk of the condition, contact your doctor today. You may also be able to qualify for your oxygen or nebulizer at little-to-no cost to you through insurance.
To find out if you qualify for your equipment through insurance, simply complete Aeroflow Healthcare’s Qualify Through Insurance form. Once submitted, our Patient Care Representatives will work closely with your healthcare provider and insurance company to get your treatment options delivered to you.
By partnering with an experienced provider like Aeroflow Healthcare, you can be fully assured of access to all the latest treatments for COPD, as well as easy delivery, service, and 24-hour support.