Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease affects more than 11 million Americans. It is a progressive disease. This means it will only continue to get worse over time. Most of the time, COPD is diagnosed in people who have spent many years living life as a smoker. Quitting smoking is a vital step in delaying the effects of COPD, but it won’t stop it from getting worse.
It can be very difficult to adjust to a life that factors COPD into the mix. In some ways, it is as though the life you once had is going away, and you have no choice but to allow it. Fighting it will usually only make matters worse. Instead, you must give up your vices, like smoking; you must often give up physical activity you once enjoyed, too, such as playing basketball with your kids or chasing your grandbabies around. As COPD progresses into stage I and stage II, it may be difficult to even keep up with childcare. Babysitting grandchildren might be impossible, and this doesn’t come easily to grandparents whose grandbabies are their whole world. So, where do people turn to get support for the side effects of COPD that interfere with their lives this way?
The most effective tool many people put to use when it comes to COPD are support groups. Sometimes, these are available through the local hospital or your doctor. Certain facilities or doctor’s offices that cater to COPD-only patients may also offer them. These groups often meet for face-to-face discussion two to four times a month. Connecting with others who are going through life with COPD can help to make it seem more bearable. Seeing others who are combatting more advanced stages of the disease than you are might help you to come to terms with your illness and reassure you that it can be managed.
COPD isn’t the end of the world, but it may be the end of life as you once knew it. There’s very little that can be done to treat the causes of COPD. Instead, the symptoms must be managed. It might seem scary to venture out of the house regularly when you are coughing so much and finding it hard to breathe. The air quality will hinder this at times, too. Instead of resorting to solitude and isolation, sufferers should embrace activities that they can engage in more easily.
Medication can help to manage the symptoms of this disease. Coughing spells and discomfort can be decreased. Steroid treatments can help with chronic asthma. People with COPD do not have to lay down and accept defeat. Often, support groups are another resource for finding other treatment avenues and gathering testimonies from people who have used them. In addition to brick and mortar meetings, some people opt for Internet-based support groups. These can also help you to connect with others in a more direct and immediate way that you can relate to. When other sufferers aren’t enough, therapy can often fill in the gaps and provide an emotional crux where patients need it most.