How to Manage a COPD Flare Up

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a serious condition that can leave you breathless, coughing, and wheezing from a flare up. If this is new to you, it is a frightening experience. If you have been living with COPD for a while now, it can still be scary. We hope you have learned to deal with these episodes, but you can always use a refresher. Keep reading and find out how to manage a COPD flare up.

What Are Symptoms of a COPD Flare Up?

A flare can occur without warning and comes on quickly. Wheezing and not being able to breathe normally are the worst parts of a flare up. In addition: man coughing due to copd. 

  • Your air supply can be cut off.
  • You become fatigued.
  • Mucus builds and clogs your bronchial tubes.
  • You may cough uncontrollably.
  • At times cognitive function may decrease. 

Now is not the time to just wait for it to improve or go away. Your lungs are inflamed and you need a way to reduce that inflammation, and quickly.

There is no cure for COPD, and you can’t reverse the lung damage, but you can make some lifestyle changes and use your medications appropriately.

Tips for Managing A COPD Flare Up

Most flare ups are treatable at home without any medical intervention. Let’s look at what these life-saving treatments are.

Use your quick acting inhaler

This inhaler will send medicated rescue steam to your constricted lungs. This will relax the tissue to allow you to breathe easier. Keep it handy at home and take it with you when you go anywhere.

Prescription corticosteroids can help

Weirton Medical may have given you a short term corticosteroid to use. After a flare, it can help reduce the inflammation.

Use the oxygen you have at home

You may already have supplemental oxygen, and now is a good time to use it. It will help you relax and get your breathing back to normal.

Lifestyle Changes for Managing COPD

Lifestyle changes can significantly enhance the management of COPD. Take a proactive approach with the following steps:

  • Quit smoking. If you haven’t already, now is the time to stop smoking. You probably know that smoking is the main cause of COPD, so get rid of all cigarette triggers in your home. Ask Weirton Medical for assistance if you need additional support to stop.
  • Commit to pulmonary rehabilitation. There are programs available in your local area, and most are covered by insurance. They will help you learn about gaining strength and stamina through breathing techniques, proper nutrition, and exercise.
  • Take care of your mental health. If you are feeling depressed or stressed, reach out for help. Talk to family and friends about how you are feeling and ask for their support.

Contact Weirton Medical at (304) 797-6362 for a personalized treatment plan in West Virginia if your flare ups are getting more severe.

Category: Health