COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a long-term (chronic) condition that makes it hard to breathe and causes mucous build-up in the lungs.
Hard time breathing or shortness of breath (called dyspnea)
Mucous build-up in the lungs (thick mucous, wet cough)
Sometimes, symptoms become worse or happen more often: this is called a flare-up or an exacerbation. A flare-up may last hours or days. Call a doctor for help when a flare-up occurs.
Flare-ups can happen due to
Sickness (cold or flu)
Breathing in very hot or cold air
Being near smoke, perfume, or pollen
How to care for someone with COPD
Caring for someone with COPD can be challenging. Learning about COPD will make it easier to provide care. The doctor or primary care provider of the person with COPD may make a treatment plan, or plan of care to manage their symptoms with medication and lifestyle changes. Support an individual with COPD by helping them follow their plan of care.
Practice breathing techniques
Healthy habits to help manage COPD symptoms
Take medications as ordered by a doctor or primary care provider
Stay active and exercise each day
Practice breathing techniques or use an inhaler when it’s hard to breathe
Rest when needed
Split up tasks to make them easier
Get pneumonia shot and the yearly flu shot