If You Are Newly Diagnosed with COPD
Welcome. If you’ve been told you have COPD, some of the following things may be true.
- This may have come as a surprise to you.
- You may have suspected it, but tried not to think about it.
- Your health care provider may have given you information and encouragement, explaining that COPD is treatable and can be managed effectively.
- You might not have been given any information, medication, or reassurance.
- You may have been prescribed inhalers with no instruction on how to use them.
No matter what circumstances surrounded you being told you have COPD, you most likely felt overwhelmed, scared, confused, or lost. Be assured, all these feelings and more are very common in people with a new diagnosis of COPD.
If you’re a family member and/or caregiver of a person with COPD, you too may be faced with challenges. You are likely to have a lot of questions about what you can expect now and in the future.
The COPD Foundation can help. Here you’ll find information and education about COPD and how to live your life to the fullest extent possible. Moreover, you will find respect, compassion, and emotional support to empower you to take control of your breathing – and your life!
You are more than just a disease. You are a person with COPD. You are not alone. The COPD Foundation is here to help. Welcome.
Where do I go from here?
For more information about how to navigate your COPD journey visit www.newtocopd.org.
During this interactive experience, you will be introduced to a person, 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.
You will learn:
- What is COPD?
- What causes COPD?
- How is COPD diagnosed?
- Tips for healthy living with COPD.
- How to manage COPD successfully and avoid flare-ups.
You will also be introduced to a wealth of resources provided by the COPD Foundation to help empower you and your family members to learn, grow, and thrive with COPD. These resources include educational materials, as well as connection with a vibrant community of people, just like you, who are living their best lives.
Remember, you can live well with COPD!
Terms Related to Lung Disease
In the world of COPD, we use a lot of words and acronyms that can sometimes be confusing. We’ve developed this glossary of some of the most common terms you will see and hear.
A Few Thoughts
We’ve put together a few tips to help you live the best life possible with COPD. Here are several – and there are many more – we hope you will explore our site and share your thoughts in our positive, supportive COPD360social community!
- Talk regularly with your doctor and attend your scheduled visits.
- Take your medicines daily as prescribed.
- Learn breathing exercises. Your doctor or respiratory therapist can help you learn how to breathe more efficiently. (For example: by using pursed lip breathing.) Learn from your health care team how to clear your lungs with coughing.
- If you still smoke, stop. Here are some resources to help you quit smoking. Do your best to avoid cigarette smoke and other irritants in the air.
- Wash your hands often. This will help reduce your risk of becoming sick from a virus or infection. Getting sick can cause exacerbations or flare-ups of your COPD.
- Find out from your health care provider if there is a pulmonary rehabilitation program near you. If there isn’t a pulmonary rehab program near you, talk to your health care provider about starting an exercise program.
- Get the flu shot each year.
- Be a part of our community! It can help to learn all you can about your disease and connect with others sharing similar experiences. Join COPD360social to engage with thousands of individuals with COPD and the health care providers, caregivers, and family members who care about them.
- In addition, download COPD Foundation Education Materials and the free COPD Pocket Consultant Guide app which has a track for people with COPD and caregivers.