“What Do I Do Now?” Tools and Tips for Those Newly Diagnosed with COPD

Posted on January 23, 2023   |   

This post was authored by Kristen Szymonik, BS, RRT, AE-C

When you are diagnosed with a new health condition, you are often left with many questions, thoughts, and feelings. Even if you ask questions when you are first diagnosed, you may end up with more questions days or even weeks later. We're here to help answer those questions for you.

Here at the COPD Foundation, we have many free educational materials designed specifically for those who are new to COPD. The best place to start is with the Basics of COPD and Understanding COPD booklets. In these booklets, you will find information about what COPD is, how it is diagnosed, what treatment options are available, how to live well and stay active, and much more. As you read through both booklets, make notes about topics that you would like to discuss with your health care provider at your next appointment.

Another helpful tool is the My COPD Action Plan. Print out a copy of the My COPD Action Plan and fill it out with your health care provider. Don't forget to post it in a place in your home where you will see it every day. Follow your My COPD Action Plan on good days and bad, and be sure to follow the Tips for Living Well with COPD found on the back side of the flyer. These easy tips can help you to stay well and avoid COPD flare-ups (exacerbations).

While printed materials can be useful when you have a new diagnosis of COPD, it is also helpful to learn about living with COPD from people that have the same lung condition. Our online community, COPD360social, has over 50,000 members who are all affected by COPD. From experts and caregivers to patients and COPD Foundation staff members, there is always someone to lend a helping hand (or listening ear!). Connect with others, share your story, ask questions, and get the support you may need.

Seeking additional support when you have just been diagnosed with COPD can be helpful. The COPD Foundation is here for those that are just beginning their journey with COPD and for those who want to learn more. Have you been recently diagnosed with COPD? What questions do you have about your new diagnosis? Share your story in the comments section and we can help direct you to information and resources that may be helpful for you.


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  • This is such a helpful post, Kristen S. I hope people will use this as a place to refer newly diagnosed individuals who come to Social or other places to our materials and supports. One more to add to the list:

    For more information about how to navigate your COPD journey visit our interactive experience at www.newtocopd.org. Here you will be introduced to a patient, like you, who is living well with COPD. You will also meet some of the staff members and medical professionals at the COPD Foundation, who are here to help you along your journey with COPD.
  • I think that this is a much-needed post. Thanks Kristen.
  • I'm almost 62 and was diagnosed with COPD in 2006 I was extremely short of breath and constantly tired due to my COPD, I was introduced to Health Herbs Clinic and their COPD Herbal Protocol. I started on the COPD Treatment last year, my symptoms gradually diminished including my shortness of breath, wheezing and fatigue. Reach them at healthherbsclinic. c om , I am Emphysema free!