Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) doesn’t refer to just one disease affecting the body. Instead, it’s a group of conditions that lead to airflow blockage and breathing-related complications. Close to 16 million Americans deal with COPD, like chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Thankfully, maintenance medication is effective in keeping its symptoms at bay.
The Risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Today
Symptoms of COPD include frequent coughing, excess phlegm or sputum, shortness of breath, and other respiratory issues. While these may seem like the typical signs of an allergy, COPD is more dangerous now more than ever.
With the developments on COVID-19 spread worldwide, people with pre-existing medical conditions are at risk of severe consequences. Since COVID-19 targets a person’s respiratory system, people with weak immune systems and COPD are in danger of suffering lethal symptoms, which can even lead to death. For this reason, managing COPD is vital during this time.
The Importance of Maintaining Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Maintaining COPD is necessary to keep a person’s airways as open as possible by removing obstructions and tightness. This includes taking measures to minimize the presence of mucus and inflammation from respiratory organs. While there’s no single strategy to handle this condition, the best solution is to pre-emptively perform symptom control.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for COPD. However, there are ways a person can regulate their symptoms, even without removing them entirely. Engaging in lifestyle changes promoting better breathing like healthy physical activities is one way to prevent COPD. Still, if it’s not enough to manage one’s condition, it’s also vital to have a strict regimen of taking maintenance medication.
The Kinds of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Medication
There are several treatment options for COPD, the most common being a metered-dose inhaler. However, other options exist, depending on a person’s specific cause and severity of COPD. Listed below are some maintenance medications your doctor will prescribe for COPD:
- Anti-inflammatory Drugs: Anti-inflammatory drugs cause reduced swelling and mucus production to allow a person with COPD to breathe better. These drugs are usually ingested through an inhaler device, but it’s also possible to take them in pill form.
- Bronchodilators: Bronchodilators are mostly delivered through an inhaler to relax a person’s airways. However, it’s also possible to take them through a nebulizer to give the medicine directly to a person’s lungs.
- Combination Medicines: Besides bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory drugs, your physician may prescribe combination medicines. This can be a prescription of an inhaler or nebulizer solution containing beta-agonist and anticholinergic medicine. It may also include corticosteroids for an added anti-inflammatory effect.
- Antibiotics for Infection: For patients with more severe cases of COPD, a physician may suggest antibiotics. This will be necessary if you’re experiencing more frequent flare-ups, coughing, and shortness of breath. It’s also advisable to take antibiotics if you’re diagnosed with an infection.
While taking antibiotics would give you a form of immediate relief, it’s important to maintain your dosage at the appropriate times. Otherwise, you could shortcut the antibiotic course and allow the infection to come back stronger with heavier symptoms.
A person’s pre-existing condition shouldn’t be treated just as an individual case. In fact, it’s important to gauge other variables affecting their condition and how it will influence their medication. In today’s time, where COVID-19 is a widespread global concern, people with COPD should be more vigilant with their medication and treatment. Thankfully, different modern tools are available to help these individuals develop healthier habits to treat their condition.
Through our medication log app, you can easily track your dosing times to keep you safe from COPD. Additionally, our app allows you to receive other outpatient healthcare services in consultation with an accredited medical professional. Download our app and live a more mindful life with COPD today!