Although most cases of COPD are preventable, it cannot be cured. Once lung damage occurs, treatment focuses on preventing additional damage, reducing symptoms of the disease, and enhancing the quality of daily activities.
The disability from COPD can cause dramatic changes to your quality of life. Treatment of its symptoms, prevention of complications, and progression of the disease require attention to a variety of behaviors. Because of these factors, some people seek out their treatment through a comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation program. These programs provide guidance and support as you learn to manage your COPD through medications, good nutrition, appropriate exercise, and good lifestyle choices. These programs work well for some people and may help optimize quality of life.
Treatment involves the following:
Global strategy for the diagnosis, management, and prevention of
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 2017. Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease website. Available at:
http://goldcopd.org/gold-2017-global-strategy-diagnosis-management-prevention-copd. Accessed February 22, 2017.
Learn about COPD. American Lung Association website. Available at:
http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/copd/learn-about-copd. Updated November 1, 2016. Accessed February 22, 2017.
What is COPD? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/copd. Updated July 31, 2013. Accessed February 22, 2017.
Qaseem A, Wilt TJ, Weinberger SE, et al; Diagnosis and management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a clinical practice guideline update from the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians, American Thoracic Society, and European Respiratory Society.
Ann Intern Med. 2011;155(3):179-191.
Last reviewed February 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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