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COPD is an inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow from the lungs

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 1:29 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -COPD is an inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow from the lungs. On this week’s Medical Monday, Megan Cole spoke with a COPD navigator at Northern Light AR Gould hospital and has more on how COPD can be treated.

There are a number of signs and symptoms that someone has COPD.

“So some of the signs and symptoms of COPD a patient can have increase shortness of breath, wheezing, a cough that can produce thick, sticky mucus, sometimes people have difficulty sleeping flat because they feel like they can’t breathe. All these things are signs and symptoms of COPD.”

Jennifer Bartlett, a registered nurse and COPD navigator for Northern Light AR Gould hospital says there are treatment options available for those who have the disease.

“COPD is best treated by maintenance medications. We encouraged patients to take their breathing medications whether they feel good or bad much like you would take a blood pressure med or cholesterol med. They need these maintenance meds everyday to help keep their lungs, keep their airways from being inflamed, keep their secretions moving. They might also have what we call a rescue inhaler for symptom management.”

Bartlett says one habit that can contribute to COPD is smoking. She says there are resources available for those who wish to quit.

“First and foremost we like people to know that it is ok if they need some type of nicotine replacement. Cold turkey doesn’t really work the best for some people. So what people need to realize is that they’re gonna have to change their whole dynamic about smoking maybe change the place where they usually sit and smoke. Maybe they need to take up a hobby that occupies their hands. Adult coloring books, puzzles, maybe knitting or crocheting, you know just finding something else that’s going to occupy their hands and occupy their mind.”

If you have any questions regarding COPD, you’re encouraged to contact your primary care provider.

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