Top Tri-Valley Home Care Agency Shares Insight on Diagnosing and Treating COPD
Sometimes, being diagnosed after struggling with debilitating symptoms can be a relief. Now, the condition has a name, and there’s a plan to treat it! This is certainly true with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). If your senior loved one has been struggling through symptoms such as chronic coughing, wheezing, and fatigue, receiving a diagnosis of COPD could be the first step needed to improve her quality of life.
Here’s what you can expect from the doctor in determining if COPD is the culprit:
- Assessment of the senior’s health and environment, to include smoking, exposure to pollutants, symptoms, and family health history
- Testing such as spirometry (breathing into a machine to check lung functioning), x-rays and blood work
- Creation of a treatment plan
COPD symptoms can vary from person to person, and as a result, treatment plans can differ as well. Here are some of the ways your senior loved one’s doctor may try to help her best manage the disease:
- Medications, to include any of the following:
- Bronchodilators taken through an inhaler to help open airways, available in both short-term and long-term formulations, to work immediately as needed or to be taken ongoing for maintenance
- Steroids and corticosteroids work to reduce inflammation, swelling and mucous production
- Antibiotics to address any bacterial infections in the lungs
- Immunizations to protect against flu and pneumonia, as those with COPD are at a greater risk for complications from these illnesses
- Pulmonary therapy works to strengthen the lungs through guided exercise and nutrition.
- Oxygen therapy, available through liquid or gas oxygen tanks or oxygen concentrators that utilize the oxygen already in the environment.
- Lung surgery may be an option if symptoms are extremely severe.
- Palliative care focuses treatment on improving quality of life, and is available to anyone diagnosed with COPD, regardless of the prognosis or stage of the disease.
- Clinical trials help researchers determine the success of new, experimental treatments, regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Talk with your senior loved one’s physician to see if clinical trials are an option, and check the American Lung Association’s clinical trial search page for opportunities near you.
Regardless of the doctor’s plan of action to help your senior loved one improve life with COPD, Hired Hands Homecare, the highest rated Tri-Valley home care agency, can help with supplemental in-home care. The senior may benefit from respectful assistance with personal care tasks like bathing and dressing, help with housecleaning, meals, transportation and running errands, or simply the companionship of a kind, caring friend to talk to and engage in enjoyable activities together, and our fully trained and experienced caregivers are here for you. Contact us at 866-940-4343 to learn more.