Living a happy life with chronic lung disease is immensely challenging. If one of your near and dear ones or you have a similar disorder, you know well how tough it is to lead an active lifestyle. With each passing day, the number of individuals becoming COPD-affected is increasing. At present, millions of individuals are living with chronic pulmonary obstructive disease. 

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary illness is one of the chronic inflammatory disorders. Because of it, the airflow from the lungs faces repetitive obstruction. Many certified lung specialists regard it as a set of progressive lung disorders. The most prevalent of these diseases are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. A lot of individuals with COPD suffer from both conditions. 

Over thirty million individuals in the U.S. have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Surprisingly half of them are unaware of the disease. Both emphysema and chronic bronchitis deteriorate and cause acute respiratory infections and heart issues when undiagnosed and untreated. The typical symptoms of these chronic pulmonary diseases are coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and more.

Types of COPD Treatment

Undergoing the right treatment in a timely manner can help a person with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease recover. Doing so helps relieve typical symptoms, checks disease progression, and restrains complications. An experienced healthcare team that supervises COPD patients' conditions mainly includes respiratory therapists, besides a lung specialist. 

Oxygen Therapy

Receiving supplemental oxygen via a nasal cannula or mask can aid in breathing better when the blood oxygen level is very low. An easy-to-carry oxygen-providing unit makes it easier for you to get around. It can come to your rescue every time you experience shortness of breath. 

Bullectomy and Lung Volume Reduction Surgery

Individuals with acute emphysema need to undergo surgery when other treatments do not all. Bullectomy is one of the effective surgery options. Lung specialists remove abnormal, large air spaces called bullae directly from the patient's lungs. The damaged tissue is removed from the upper portion of the lungs during lung volume reduction surgery. It helps improve breathing. 

Endobronchial Valves

Undoubtedly, transplanting lungs has several risks, which is why very few COPD patients opt for it in some cases. It is sensible to opt for a far less invasive surgery that can help improve airflow efficiency in individuals with severe emphysema. Endobronchial, which are one-way valves, help divert inhaled air away from damaged, non-functioning lungs and to healthy, functioning lungs. 

Preferred Medication Options for COPD Patients


Bronchodilators are a type of medicine that aids in loosening stiff muscles in an individual's airways. You need to take it via a nebulizer or inhaler. Bronchodilators that last for four to six hours are short-acting, and the longer variants last for nearly twelve years. You need to use either of them, depending on the severity of your symptoms. 

There are different bronchodilators for COPD-affected individuals who experience severe breathing difficulty whenever they exercise. These medications help relax tight muscles, causing airways to widen for improved air passage. Ultimately, the body becomes capable of clearing mucus effectively from the lungs. 


The combination of bronchodilators that last longer with glucocorticosteroids proves effective for many individuals with emphysema. A glucocorticosteroid is excellent in reducing inflammation right in the airways, apart from lowering the production of mucus. The longer version bronchodilator helps loosen the airway muscles and ensures the airways remain wider. 

Phosphodiesterase-4 Inhibitors

A pulmonologist will prescribe this particular medication if you have chronic bronchitis. Taking this in pill form can help you reduce inflammation besides relaxing the airways. 


Having this medication will aid you in easing the tightness of your chest and breath shortness. Theophylline is also effective in the prevention of flare-ups. It is instrumental in soothing the airways' muscles. 

Aside from the aforementioned medications, you might have to take antivirals or antibiotics if you catch respiratory infections. Every year, a flu shot, tetanus booster, or pneumococcal vaccine can help keep the risk of varying respiratory infections at bay. 

Different COPD Stages

Spirometry grading can help you attain one COPD measure. Different grading systems exist, but the one grading system belongs to the GOLD classification. It helps determine the severity of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Moreover, this classification helps a lung specialist form a possible course for the medical condition and treatment plan. Here are the different stages.

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Severe
  • Very Severe

The topmost "mild" stage is Grade 1, and the last "very severe" stage is Grade 4. The grading depends on the spirometry exam result of a patient's FEV1, which is the air you can exhale in the very first second when you forcefully breathe air out of the lungs. As FEV1 decreases, the severity of the condition increases. 

Taking requisite steps timely is imperative once you know you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Visiting a pulmonologist frequently and taking prescribed medications can help you avoid complications. 

You can even use a hi-tech spirometer to stay aware of your chronic respiratory conditions. In addition, you can easily share real-time medical readings with your lung specialist from a remote location when you use such a device.