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 doctor may have given you information and encouragement that COPD is treatable and can be managed effectively.
- You might not have been given any information, medication, or assurance.
- 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 for yourself. 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.
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 (x saa cer bay shun) or flare-ups of your COPD.
- Find out from your doctor if there is a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program near you. If there isn’t a pulmonary rehab program near you, talk to your doctor about beginning 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.