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Even though chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) cannot be cured, it is treatable and often partially reversible. Early diagnosis and long-term treatment can help improve symptoms, increase your ability to exercise and enable you to breathe better with a better quality of life. Here are some things you can do to help with your treatment:

  1. Follow your health care professional's instructions about COPD treatment.
  2. Get a flu shot every year.
  3. Ask your health care professional if you should get a pneumonia vaccine.
  4. Talk to your health care professional about maintenance inhaled therapies, which studies have found to be convenient and more effective at maintaining symptom relief than short-acting, rescue therapies.
  5. Take your medication as directed, even if you feel fine.
  6. Tell your doctor if your medication does not improve your symptoms.
  7. Try to take a walk every day, even if it's short. Remember to gradually increase your activities as your doctor recommends.
  8. Make sure you know how to use your inhaler(s)—some work differently than others.
  9. Tell your doctor about any side effects or difficulties you have using your inhaler(s) or taking your medication.
  10. Share information about your medication with your partner or other family members so they can help you take it as prescribed.
  11. If you can't afford your medication, talk to your health care professional about free or reduced-payment programs.

This resource was created with the support of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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