COPD Treatment Options
At the time, there is no cure for COPD. However, the condition is treatable, and lifestyle changes can help manage it. Healthcare professionals use a number of methods to control symptoms of COPD and slow its progress. This is a brief overview of the various types of COPD treatments.
Bronchodilators are commonly administered with an inhaler, and they are used to settle the muscles in the airways so that air can more freely flow to and from the lungs. Your doctor might either prescribe a short-acting or long-acting bronchodilator. Short-acting bronchodilators are used for situational incidents, and they can last anywhere from a couple of hours to six hours. Long-acting bronchodilators last for at least 12 hours, and they are to be taken on a daily basis.
Steroids and Bronchodilation Combination
For those who require a bit more medical attention, steroids are often prescribed in conjunction with bronchodilators. The steroids can inhibit the inflammation in the lung’s airways. It is not likely that your doctor will prescribe steroids alone to treat COPD.
Both the flu and pneumococcal pneumonia have been linked to the onset of COPD. In order to prevent and manage COPD, vaccinations for both conditions are highly recommended.
Rehab is recommended to improve the overall health of those afflicted with COPD and other breathing conditions. Rehab often includes exercise courses, training for disease management, and psychological and nutritional counseling. This program is designed to help you resume a normal, active lifestyle.
This type of treatment is often prescribed to this with severe COPD. It is most useful in situations where the blood has extremely low oxygen levels. Oxygen therapy is administered with a mask or nasal prongs.
For severe cases, surgery is commonly prescribed as well. It is viewed as a last resort option by healthcare professionals. Specifically, it is advisable for those who don’t respond to conventional medications.
Bullectomy is a common type of surgery aimed at removing “bullae” from the lungs. Another common surgery is LVRS (or lung volume reduction surgery). This surgery is used to eliminate damaged lung tissue. As a result, the lungs can function more easily, and you can experience a much higher quality of life.
When a severe case of COPD threatens the life of the sufferer, a lung transplant might be advised. In this case, a healthy lung from a deceased donor is used to replace a COPD patient’s damaged lung.
If your COPD has become severe in nature, you can talk about the options for a lung transplant with your doctor. He/she will be able to help you understand the risks and benefits associated with lung transplantation.