Allergy, Sleep & Lung Care Urges COPD Sufferers to Seek Necessary Treatment to Gain Their Life Back
Fort Myers, Fla. – For many, diagnoses of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can be devastating, discouraging or hopeless. Heat and humidity brought by the end-of-summer weather conditions can make symptoms unbearable for those suffering this common lung disease that affects more than 24 million Americans.
Founder of Allergy Sleep & Lung Care and Board Certified Pulmonologist, Imtiaz Ahmad, M.D., offers those diagnosed with COPD a series of tips for coping and identifying next steps for disease sufferers.
1. Activity is Still An Option
“It is vital that COPD patients still seek physical activity,” explains Dr. Ahmad. “Patients can still walk around in a mall, in their own home, anywhere that is not exposed to outdoor elements.”
Many communities offer indoor tracks and gymnasiums. For others, walking around an indoor public area, such as a shopping mall or grocery store, will fulfill their physical activity needs. Adding mild indoor exercise to your routine is another strategy to gain a healthier lifestyle while living with COPD.
2. Smoking is still NOT an Option
“It is necessary for COPD patients to quit any level of cigarette smoking,” urges Dr. Ahmad. “Patients have many options to help them quit smoking, including free resources provided by Tobacco Free Florida, group counseling, pharmaceuticals, or healthcare provider intervention.”
Studies show up to 90 percent of COPD cases can be attributed to smoking. According to the Mayo Clinic, smoking cessation is the best method to slow the progression of COPD and help maintain the patient’s remaining lung function.
3. Seek Support in Numbers
“In addition to speaking with your physician, participating in support groups is a great way help patients move forward,” suggests Dr. Ahmad. “Connecting with others going through the same difficulties you are experiencing helps patients to accept a diagnosis and learn tips for coping with the disease.”
Support groups are available to join for patients feeling alone, depressed, or uneducated about this lung condition. Talk with your physician about recommended support groups, or visit www.copd.com to learn more about support groups in your area.
Significant treatment advances have occurred in last decade which can dramatically improve quality of life, promote prolonged survival and prevent COPD exacerbation and hospitalization. These advances include multiple classes of inhalers, judicious use of oxygen supplements and enrollment in pulmonary rehab programs.
COPD patients are at increase risk of pneumonia and lung cancer. Screening, early diagnosis and early and aggressive treatment can make a significant difference in their quality of life, productivity and survival.
Common signs and symptoms of COPD include coughing that may produce mucus, shortness of breath and fatigue. As this disease progresses, these COPD symptoms may become more problematic. Dr. Ahmad urges anyone suffering these symptoms to notify their doctor immediately.
“The sooner you are diagnosed, the better this disease can be medically managed,” says Dr. Ahmad. “Determining a treatment plan custom tailored to their condition is a vital step to the process.”
Patients with risk factors, including a long history of smoking or occupational exposure to dusts and chemicals should receive regular screenings for COPD. Allergy, Sleep & Lung Care provides testing and treatment plans for a range of COPD stages and will asses the severity of the disease, as well as offer treatment plans to avoid potential flare ups and hospitalizations.