Take a Deep Breath: Getting Tested for COPD
Have you heard of COPD Rehab? What does it mean to a senior?
If you are a senior who coughs incessantly and feels shortness of breath, you should ask yourself a question. “Is this a normal part of my aging?”
COPD could be the culprit for those symptoms. It is good to be a little suspicious because if there is a problem, it is better to treat it. Sometimes, when someone decides to ‘wait it out’, the symptoms get worse and the condition becomes more complex.
So what is COPD?
Since COPD is a breathing-related disease, challenge yourself to say its full name in one breath. Ready?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
It is quite a mouthful, isn’t it? ‘Chronic’ means that it is noticeable in someone’s life even when they are not having an attack, ‘obstructive’ means that it is disturbing the normal breathing process, ‘pulmonary’ means it has something to do with the lungs.
If someone has these symptoms, then they should speak to their doctor about requesting a Spirometry Test which is a simple, non-invasive test. A spirometry test measures how effectively a person breathes.
According to the COPD Foundation, COPD is commonly characterized by:
- Increasing shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
- Frequent coughing, with or without mucus
- Increased breathlessness
If someone is diagnosed as having COPD they will begin a program of pulmonary rehabilitation. Trained specialists will help the person improve their physical condition. In COPD rehab, the person will learn breathing techniques and exercises and discover which medications can relieve the effects of the illness. The main aim will be to make the lungs and heart work as efficiently as possible.
Exercise and Coping
The ability to tolerate the exercise is another focus point. By a person increasing their endurance level they will get the most out of the COPD rehabilitation.
Coping with COPD is made easier with rehabilitation and support. Such support is given in a rehab center or an assisted living facility. The key point to hold in mind with COPD is, that a person can and should try to learn how to perform their activities of daily living with it. The COPD Foundation stresses that:
- Although COPD is “progressive” disease, by getting the right diagnosis and treatment, the person can do much to handle the disease and breather better than before, and
- People can still enjoy life and live many years with COPD.
The information that the Foundation provides in learning to cope with COPD is extensive and well written. Any person can glean tips on how to cope with life’s challenges from there.
Photo by Alexandre Croussette on Unsplash