As the third leading cause of death in the United States, COPD—or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—is one of the biggest health problems Americans face. Typically, this lung disease is associated with increasing breathing problems; which in turn, can raise a person’s risk of disability or death. While there is no cure for COPD, it can be successfully managed with the help of medication, supplemental oxygen, and pulmonary rehabilitation.
Today is COPD Awareness Day, so here are a few things to know about pulmonary rehabilitation and why it’s important.
A Simple Guide to COPD & Pulmonary Rehabilitation
What Does Pulmonary Rehabilitation Involve
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a comprehensive program for your lung health. With oversight from our Pulmonologist Dr. James Barker, who is an integral part of your clinical management, specially trained respiratory therapists will teach you about COPD and how it affects your lung function and breathing ability. Using the information provided by your medical team, your therapist will review your prescribed medications and how to use them for symptom relief and disease control. You’ll also learn several different breathing techniques that can help you control your breathing during COPD flare-ups.
During the program, your therapist will review many aspects of COPD management. For example, they will discuss the importance of regular exercise and how to avoid breathing problems when you’re physically active. They will also highlight nutritional and weight loss strategies that can help you prevent COPD flare-ups and minimize their severity.
What Are the Benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
This educational program is designed to provide patients with information that will help them develop healthy habits to make COPD management easier.
According to the National Institutes of Health, some major benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation include improved quality of life, increased fitness ability, and reduced symptoms. Specifically, by being able to better control your breathing and respond to COPD flare-ups, you’ll have more opportunity to enjoy your favorite daily activities—such as exploring the outdoors, going out to eat, and taking vacations. If you’re experiencing anxiety or depression as a result of your diagnosis, these programs can also guide you through the emotional coping process.
How Will a Respiratory Therapist Understand My Breathing Needs?
Every person with COPD can experience the disease differently. As such, respiratory therapists will adjust their instruction depending on your specific breathing problems and lifestyle needs. Much of the information therapists use will come from your medical team, including your primary care provider. However, they will also evaluate your abilities by performing a series of exercise and breathing tests.
Join a Local Support Group
Coryell Health Pulmonary Rehabilitation offers a support group-Better Breathers Club for those individuals and caregivers who have been affected by chronic lung disease. Our goal is to educate on better ways to cope with lung disease while receiving support from others in similar situations. Overseen by Pulmonologist Dr. James Barker, our trained healthcare professional educate on the tools needed to live the best quality of life you can. Living with chronic lung disease can be easier, come join our support group and let us help.
Better Breathers Club (BBC) is held the third Wednesday of the month, every other month, at Coryell Health Medical Clinic, Building 2 conference room from 12:00-1:00pm. The educational presentations feature a wide range of relevant topics and there is no cost for participating.
If you have COPD and a doctor’s recommendation for pulmonary rehabilitation, turn to our Cardiopulmonary Department at Coryell Health for in-depth assistance. Recognized by the American Association for Respiratory Care, our team is committed to helping patients breathe and function at the highest level possible. In addition to easing your breathing problems, our compassionate respiratory therapists will work with you so you can feel empowered and confident in the self-management of COPD. For more information about Pulmonary Rehabilitation, visit www.coryellhealth.org. To learn more about how enroll you or a loved one in our pulmonary rehabilitation in Gatesville, TX, call (254) 865-2166.