Understanding the Whole Picture of COPD with Active Home Health
The symptoms of COPD go beyond the typical symptoms of shortness of breath and troubled breathing. They include low energy and decreased endurance. Home health for COPD helps to manage the whole picture of COPD, limiting exacerbations and restoring you back to your active lifestyle.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. It is caused by chronic inflammation in the lungs. This inflammation causes a narrowing of the airways and destruction of the lung tissue. As time goes on, the damage worsens, and patients see a noticeable difference in quality of life.
Some causes of COPD include:
- Exposure to airborne irritants
Symptoms of COPD
Unfortunately, symptoms of COPD do not manifest until significant lung damage has already occurred. Many patients will try to modify their lifestyle to minimize the dyspnea and may even ignore the coughing and sputum production before going to their doctor’s office.
Typical symptoms of COPD include trouble breathing (dyspnea), shortness of breath and wheezing. These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other signs and symptoms of COPD that may go unnoticed. These may include low energy, decreased endurance, increased mucous production and a chronic cough. Patients may require more time to recover from simple tasks or even need more assistance to complete said tasks.
COPD has an unpredictable pattern of ups and downs. The down periods in COPD are called exacerbations. These are periods where symptoms worsen suddenly. These are more than just “bad” days. They are often caused by lung infections and is important to get treated quickly. It is important to be able to recognize the differences between bad days and exacerbations and create appropriate action plans for each.
Treatment Options for COPD
COPD may not be curable, but it is treatable. The goal in treating COPD is to prevent more damage and to preserve/maximize lung function.
Depending on the level of functional decline, multiple inhalers may be prescribed. Make sure that you are familiar with the different types of inhalers and their proper use. To learn more about proper inhaler use, check out our resource page here. Non-drug therapies may include supplemental oxygen, pulmonary rehabilitation and staying up to date with immunizations like influenza, pneumonia, and COVID-19.
Treating COPD with Active Home Health
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you experience shortness of breath when walking?
- Have you recently been diagnosed with COPD?
- Do you use supplemental oxygen at home?
- Do you struggle to complete daily activities?
- Have you recently had an exacerbation?
- Are you struggling to regain muscle strength and activity after a flare-up?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could benefit from Active Home Health’s COPD program. Active’s nurses can provide disease education, instruct on how to use inhalers, provide deep breathing techniques and percussion. Our therapists will provide a home safety evaluation, teach you ways to conserve energy, develop a light training program and even help you learn how to use assistive devices like canes and walkers. Our CNAs can provide help with your daily activities and even assist in meal preparation too.
Some of the benefits of using Active Home Health to help manage your COPD include:
- Managing the COPD disease process at home
- Learning to recognize worsening symptoms faster
- Recognition of exacerbations at home
- Reducing the need to go to the hospital
- Slow COPD progression
- Prevent and treat COPD exacerbations
- Maintain independence
- Reducing the risk of falls
- Home safety evaluation and modifications
Why Choose Active Home Health?
When it comes to COPD, many people only see the symptoms that are on the surface. They fail to see the whole picture of what living with COPD entails. Active Home Health goes beyond the surface, enabling you to take back control of your life. If you or a loved one need help managing your COPD, give us a call today!