Treatment & Prevention Options
There is no definitive cure for COPD. It is however possible
to minimize some common symptoms and slow down the progress
of disease. The first step as part of treatment is to stop smoking.
Following medications may be used:
Bronchodilators: Bronchodilators or Inhalers help in opening
the airways; they are either short-acting or long-acting bronchodilators.
The bronchodilators relax muscles around the airways and help
open the airways making breathe easier. Depending on severity,
bronchodilators are advised. Short-acting dilators last for
4-6 hours and should be sparingly used. Long-acting dilators
last for about 12 hours or more and can be used everyday. Medications
include Ipratropium, Tiotropium, Salmeterol, Formoterol or Albuterol.
Inhaled Glucorticosteroids (Steroids): These are used to treat
symptoms of COPD flare up cases. They may reduce airway inflammation.
1. Flu Shots: Influenza or Flu can cause serious problems
for those suffering from COPD, thus advance flu shots reduce
the risk of flu.
2. Pneumococcal Vaccine: This vaccine reduces the risk of
pneumonia and the complications there of for those suffering
Surgery: Surgery may benefit in rare cases,
it usually is a last resort. Surgeries are generally pertaining
to those have symptoms of emphysema.
1. Bullectomy: Larger air spaces called bullae are formed
when the walls of air sacs are damaged badly. These bullae
interfere in breathing; a surgeon removes one or more large
bullae from lungs to enable effortless breathing.
2. Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS): In this surgery,
the damaged tissue is removed from the lungs, thus improving
breathing and quality of life.
3. Lung Transplant: In this surgery, the damaged lung is
removed and replaced with a healthy lung from a deceased donor.
Lung transplantation may improve lung function and quality
of life, but it involves high risk of complications such as
infections and death due to the body rejecting transplanted
4. Liver Transplantation: Children suffering from COPD due
to AAT deficiency may undergo liver transplantation (4) &
Some tips to prevent COPD include:
1. Quit smoking or prevent second hand smoke (inhaling others
2. Avoid chemical fumes.
3. Avoid air pollution.
4. Avoid dust.
5. Avoid exposure to very cold air or weather (7) & (18).
COPD: Introduction & Overview
COPD: Symptoms & Stages
COPD: Types & Causes
COPD: Tests and Diagnosis Methods
COPD: Treatment &
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