Whilst there is currently no cure for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), evidence shows that early diagnosis, combined with disease management programs, can reduce the impact COPD, improve quality of life, slow disease progression, reduce mortality and keep you out of hospital. Here are some tips to slow the progression of your COPD.
If you smoke, quitting is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health, lung function and slow the progression of your COPD. If you continue to smoke, this will affect your health and respiratory symptoms, so the sooner you quit, the better your chances of living well with COPD. A quit plan can help you reflect on why you smoke, your motivations for quitting and help you choose your preferred quit tools.
Keep active with exercise
Research shows that regular exercise can help maintain your fitness and wellbeing, as well as reduce symptoms of breathlessness, making everyday activities easier.
Attend pulmonary rehabilitation
Pulmonary rehabilitation is an exercise and education program provided by specially trained health professionals which teaches you how to exercise safely and how to manage your breathlessness. Research shows that pulmonary rehabilitation is one of the best things you can do to improve symptoms and quality of life.
Lungs in Action
After you finish pulmonary rehabilitation, it is important to continue exercising to help maintain your physical fitness and lung health. Lung Foundation Australia’s Lungs in Action program is a safe and fun community-based exercise class designed to help people with a chronic lung disease maintain the benefits achieved through pulmonary rehabilitation.
Get your vaccinations
Protect yourself from influenza and pneumonia by making sure your vaccinations are up-to-date.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Keeping within a healthy weight range is important if you have COPD. Eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and getting plenty of rest will help to ensure you are healthy and have enough energy to enjoy life.
Take your medicine as instructed
It is essential that you take your medicines as instructed by your doctor, even when you feel well – they can help prevent your COPD symptoms from getting worse in the long-term. Do not be tempted to decide when and how much medicine you will take, as this may result in you not getting the most benefit from your medicine.