Ten things you wish someone
had told you about COPD

1 COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and describes a number of respiratory conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema5

2 Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to help your breathing. Talk to your doctor about the best ways you can improve your breathing with gradual exercise5

3 Although there is no cure for COPD, there is plenty of hope. Lifestyle changes and medications can help successfully manage symptoms5

4 COPD leads to damaged airways in the lungs, causing them to narrow, making it harder to breathe air in and out of the lungs5

5 There are several ways you can improve your breathing: Ask your doctor about pulmonary rehabilitation (PR). A PR plan may include exercise, energy-conserving techniques, counselling and breathing strategies5

6 COPD is usually caused by long-term exposure to irritants that damage the lungs, such as cigarette smoking or exposure to occupational dust or chemicals5

7 It is never too late to stop smoking, even if you already have COPD. For every cigarette you don’t smoke you will gain approximately another 11 minutes of life.6 Ask for help on how to quit today

8 Having a plan for how you’ll recognise and manage your COPD symptoms can be a big help for you and your family.7 You can find a plan to complete with your doctor here

9 What you eat is important if you’re living with COPD. That’s because eating right can give you more energy for all your daily activities, including breathing. Good nutrition can also help your body fight infections8

10 There are several different kinds of medicines and inhalers to help you manage your COPD symptoms.5 You can learn more about them here