Over 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and millions more have yet to be diagnosed. This group of diseases — the most common being emphysema and chronic bronchitis — makes it difficult for sufferers to breathe. Life can become an incredible struggle for those afflicted. Unfortunately, there is no cure for COPD, and those who’ve been diagnosed now face the challenge of living with this debilitating disease.
Below, a lung doctor in Tampa discusses how you can manage COPD and live a fulfilling life in spite of your condition. Although living with COPD means making difficult lifestyle changes, putting your lung health first can ensure that you have a high quality of life.
Anyone living with COPD knows how challenging it can be to perform everyday tasks, let alone maintain a career. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “1 in 4 adults with COPD say they are not able to work.” Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath can make activities like walking the dog or climbing a flight of stairs seemingly impossible. In order to live with COPD, you will need to learn to manage your condition.
In many cases, COPD is caused by lung damage from smoking. Those with COPD may be unwilling to seek treatment, as they blame themselves for their current circumstances. If you’re a smoker with COPD, the best thing you can do is quit smoking and consult a lung specialist in Tampa. Nothing good can come from blaming yourself or further damaging your lungs with cigarette smoke. And no, e-cigarettes are not safer.
Those with COPD are especially susceptible to lung infections, such as pneumonia, which is itself commonly caused by the flu. For this reason, it’s recommended that people with COPD get the yearly flu vaccine and keep up with pneumonia vaccine boosters.
People with COPD can also experience severe pulmonary hypertension due to low levels of oxygen in their blood. If left untreated, this can lead to heart failure. In addition to quitting smoking, COPD sufferers should engage in safe exercises to protect their heart and maintain a healthy weight. To ensure that lifestyle changes are undertaken safely, be sure to consult a lung doctor in Tampa.
Not only can a pulmonologist monitor your condition, but they can also develop a treatment plan, give diet and exercise advice, and prescribe potentially life-saving medications. As a board-certified physician, Ravikanth Vydyula, M.D., can do all of the above and more. If you are concerned with what a life with COPD will be like, know that you don’t have to manage your condition alone. For a lung specialist in Tampa who can treat COPD and ensure the best possible outcome, schedule an appointment with Dr. Vydyula.
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