There are an estimated 24 million people worldwide who suffer from the chronic lung disease known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD. This is a very serious and debilitating disease that is believed to be caused by extensive exposure to lung irritants such as chemical fumes, occupational dust, air pollution, and cigarette smoke, the leading cause of COPD.
There is no cure for COPD and it is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. The first symptoms of COPD appear around the age of 40 and they will get worse over time. While COPD cannot be cured, it is a preventable disease and the symptoms can be treated. Medications and treatments for COPD will help alleviate symptoms, slow the progression of the disease, and allow the affected individual to live a better life.
It is common for those with COPD to need some help at home to administer their treatment and take care of certain tasks around the house that are too difficult. Assisting Hands Home Care can help those with COPD in Mt. Prospect, IL. We can provide basic care to help make the lives of COPD patients easier and we can also monitor their medication and oxygen tank levels and ensure that they follow their prescribed regimen.
What is COPD?
COPD is a lung disease caused by long-term exposure to dangerous lung irritants. The alveoli, the small air sacks at the ends of the bronchial tubes, are affected and damaged by this disease.
COPD can attack the alveoli in one of two ways; it can cause the walls of the alveoli to become damaged and swollen, a condition known as emphysema, or it can cause the lining in the bronchial tubes to become irritated and inflamed, a condition known as chronic obstructive bronchitis.
The following are the main symptoms of COPD:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Persistent cough
If someone displays these symptoms, that does not necessarily mean they have COPD. It is also possible to have COPD and not display these symptoms. If you believe you or a loved one might have COPD, consult a physician. They can test an individual for COPD using chest x-rays and CAT scans, lung function tests, and arterial blood gas tests.
A physician can prescribe several different treatments for the symptoms of COPD. The treatments are chosen based on the severity of the disease and symptoms. Those who have moderate symptoms may be prescribed bronchodilator medication or a steroid inhaler.
Bronchodilators relax the muscles in the airways to make it easier to breathe and steroid inhalers can reduce swelling within the bronchial tubes. Those affected by COPD are also advised to get regular flu and pneumonia vaccines because these diseases can lead to major complications with COPD.
If a physician sees fit, they can put a patient through pulmonary rehabilitation which is a combination of exercise, disease management, and psychological counseling. This treatment can help manage the symptoms of COPD so the patient can live a more normal life and it is supervised by a medical professional.
If the COPD has progressed and caused severe symptoms in the patient, they likely need oxygen therapy. With this treatment, patients use a mask to breathe in oxygen from an oxygen tank. This will help raise the levels of oxygen in the blood which will also increase alertness, improve sleep, and prevent damage to other organs like the heart that rely on oxygen.
Treating the Symptoms of COPD
The best way to relieve COPD symptoms is to make sure the patient is in an environment free of lung irritants. Those affected by COPD should not smoke or be around cigarette smoke and must avoid insecticides, paint fumes, and other dangerous irritants.
They should also avoid going outdoors if there is a high level of pollution. By avoiding lung irritants and following the prescribed treatment regimen, those affected by COPD can control their symptoms and live a better, more active life.
How Assisting Hands Home Care Can Help
At Assisting Hands Home Care, we have a staff of highly trained and licensed caregivers who can provide in-home care for those with chronic diseases, including COPD. Our caregivers will ensure that you or your loved one is in a safe environment free of lung irritants and we can also help monitor medication and treatment.
Monitoring Oxygen Levels
We will make sure that medication is taken at the right time and we will also keep an eye on oxygen tank levels for those who require oxygen treatments. Our care services can also include help around the house such as meal preparation and housekeeping and we can assist with personal care activities. If an emergency occurs while our caregivers are present, we will respond immediately.
Schedule a Free Estimate
Call Assisting Hands Home Care if you or a loved one is living with COPD and could benefit from professional home care in Mt. Prospect, IL. We will create a personalized care plan to cover your care needs and monitor your medication and treatment for COPD. Give us a call at (847) 462-4402 to learn more.