Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are respiratory conditions that reduce airflow in and of the lungs. While they often exhibit similar symptoms, asthma and COPD are different, and patients require different management for optimal functioning. Physicians at Woodridge Clinic see many patients with asthma and COPD and teach that consistent at-home use of medications and proactive therapies to help individuals reduce symptoms and feel better.
Because asthma is largely the lungs' inflammatory response to exercise, cold weather, allergens, and stress, controlling these factors is key to good pulmonary function. Common asthma medications include inhaled or nebulized bronchodilators for sudden symptoms of wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath, and daily inhaled corticosteroids reduce swelling of lung tissues and promote easier excursion of air.
Southlake & Keller Clinic physicians encourage asthmatics to be consistent with their medications and to:
- engage in aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, and biking to open airways, increase lung function and fight depression
- build endurance with weight training
- avoid known allergens
- use whole house air filters
- stay indoors on days of increased air pollution
- keep a diary of symptoms
- monitor lung function at home with a Peak Flow Meter
- keep their physicians informed of changes in symptoms
The lung damage from COPD is irreversible. However, proper management slows its progression and allows patients to live longer and better with their disease. Of course, doctors at Southlake & Keller Clinics advise their COPD patients to stop smoking as smoking, in addition to environmental factors such as air pollution, is directly related to the incidence of COPD. While it is the third leading cause of preventable death in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of COPD such as coughing, wheezing, chronic bronchitis, increased mucous production and exercise intolerance are treatable.
Common treatments for COPD include:
- use of bronchodilators, beta-blockers and corticosteroids
- pulmonary rehab which includes supervised aerobic exercise, breathing strategies and nutritional and medication counseling
- use of supplemental oxygen
- ways to conserve energy
- smoking cessation
- avoidance of lung irritants such as outdoor pollution, pet dander, household chemicals and fragrances
The National Lung, Heart and Blood Institute states that consistent treatment, especially pulmonary rehabilitation, greatly improves the quality of life for COPD patients.
Lung Patients Have Options
Individuals dealing with asthma or COPD should not live in isolation. The professional team at Southlake & Keller Clinics encourages patients to be proactive about their conditions and to communicate with their health care providers regularly. Contact our Southlake (817)-421-0770 or Keller (817)-421-0770 Clinic locations for an appointment.
For more information on Asthma and COPD Management, call Texas Reginal Asthma & Allergy Center in Southlake or Keller, TX at (817)-421-0770!