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COPD Tip List for Talking to Loved Ones Who May Have COPD

Posted Oct 21 2010 2:12pm


November is National COPD Awareness Month! This year’s driving concept is that it only takes having a simple conversation with a friend or loved one, who you think exhibits the symptoms of COPD, to open the door for them to learn more about the disease and talk to their doctor about their symptoms. Remember, one in five adults in the United States over the age of 45 currently has COPD but only half are diagnosed.

1.Know what to look for to recognize the signs of COPD in your loved one. Shortness of breath, wheezing or chronic cough could all be symptoms of COPD, a serious but treatable lung disease.

2.Talk with your loved one about things they may be missing out on, such as taking walks and playing with grandchildren, because of these symptoms.

3.Talk with them about how hard daily tasks like climbing stairs and grocery shopping have become for them and that this may be related to COPD.

4.Encourage your loved one to schedule a visit with the doctor. COPD can be diagnosed with a simple breathing test called spirometry. It’s quick and painless and worth it.

5.Once diagnosed with COPD, there are many ways that your loved one and their doctor can work together to manage the symptoms of the disease. Remind them that the earlier a person receives treatment, the better their chances to improve quality of life.

6.Offer resources to help your loved one. Read through the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s COPD Learn More Breathe Better campaign Web site with them to learn more about COPD and support group opportunities in their area.

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