10 Ways to Treat COPD – Article Health
Treatments and medication for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) range from simple breathing exercises to medications and even surgery. COPD occurs when the airways and air sacs in the lungs become inflamed or damaged, most often due to smoking, and is more common after age 45.
Inhalers or nebulizers
If your doctor has prescribed medications for COPD—like an inhaler or nebulizer—make sure you know how to use them and take them as prescribed. Most people find that medicines make breathing easier, keep flare-ups to a minimum, and control coughing and wheezing. These include bronchodilators, which are drugs that open up the airways and make it easier to breathe.
Bronchodilators come in several varieties. One of the most common, albuterol, is a beta2-agonist that is short-acting and used as a “quick fix” for shortness of breath. People who have all stages of COPD severity keep a short-acting inhaler on hand in case of emergencies. Albuterol is sold in inhalers or as a liquid that can be used in a nebulizer, a machine that creates a fine mist that is inhaled. Examples of brand names are Proventil, Ventolin, and Volmax.
There are also long-acting beta2-agonists, such as salmeterol (Serevent), and Advair, which is a combination of salmeterol and a corticosteroid called fluticasone. Like roflumilast, these long-acting bronchodilators, which are inhaled every 12 hours, are considered maintenance therapy.