COPD has moved to the forefront of health conversations lately in light of the pandemic, as lung disease causes enhanced susceptibility to serious complications from COVID-19; and with nearly 16 million Americans battling the disease, it’s important for all of us to understand the symptoms, treatment options, and how to best manage COPD.
November is COPD Awareness Month, the perfect opportunity for our Florida aging care specialists at American, Advocate, Douglas and Whitsyms In-Home Care to share the information seniors and their families need.
What Is COPD?
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive condition caused mainly by tobacco smoke, although air pollution and lung infections such as pneumonia can also lead to an increased risk for contracting the disease.
What Are the Symptoms of COPD?
Initially, symptoms may be so mild they may not even be detected, but as the disease progresses, the following signs become more severe:
- Coughing, especially coughs that produce a lot of phlegm
- Wheezing, squeaking, or whistling sound during breathing
- Tightness in the chest
- Shortness of breath, exacerbated by physical activity
Additionally, someone with severe lung damage may also develop swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet, reduced muscle endurance, and/or weight loss.
It’s imperative to see a doctor as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
How Is COPD Treated?
While there’s no cure available for COPD, there are ways to slow the progression of the disease:
- Most importantly, someone with COPD needs to quit smoking, and to avoid secondhand smoke and other pollutants.
- Medications to ease symptoms, such as wheezing and coughing, may be prescribed.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation helps those with COPD learn better coping mechanisms, including how to conserve energy and recommended lifestyle changes.
- Supplemental oxygen may be prescribed as well if blood oxygen levels drop.
As the experts in senior care throughout Florida, our referred care providers are available to help those with COPD live the best life possible. Let us help with accompanied transportation to medical appointments and procedures, encouragement to adhere to recommended exercise plans, meal planning and preparation, and the companionship seniors need to alleviate loneliness and isolation, which can lead to depression and other serious health concerns, especially for those battling a chronic disease such as COPD.
Reach out to us today for more information about our referred care providers and the difference we can make in the life of a senior you love.
- American In-Home Care – Serving North, Central, and West Coast of Florida
- Advocate In-Home Care – Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
- Whitsyms In-Home Care – Serving Southeast and Southwest Florida
- Douglas In-Home Care – Serving Treasure Coast
State of Florida License and Registration Numbers: 30211518, 30211651, 30211295, 30211390, 30210978, 30211293, 30211382, 30211504, 30211733, 30211535, 30211531, 30211710, 30211709, 30211045, 5661