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:
- Follow your health care professional's instructions about COPD treatment.
- Get a flu shot every year.
- Ask your health care professional if you should get a pneumonia vaccine.
- 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.
- Take your medication as directed, even if you feel fine.
- Tell your doctor if your medication does not improve your symptoms.
- Try to take a walk every day, even if it's short. Remember to gradually increase your activities as your doctor recommends.
- Make sure you know how to use your inhaler(s)—some work differently than others.
- Tell your doctor about any side effects or difficulties you have using your inhaler(s) or taking your medication.
- Share information about your medication with your partner or other family members so they can help you take it as prescribed.
- 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.