The treatment options for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) include making lifestyle changes, taking medications like bronchodilators and steroids, pulmonary rehabilitation, using oxygen and surgery, explains the Mayo Clinic. If a person smokes, then a lifestyle change is to stop smoking and also avoid things that can irritate the lungs, suggests the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Depending on the severity of the symptoms of COPD, there are many different types of medications that may be prescribed by a doctor, like bronchodilators to relieve symptoms such as breathing problems and coughing.
Some other possible drugs used for COPD are steroids that may be taken orally or inhaled through inhalers. Steroid medications are typically used when there is inflammation that affects the airway passages. If there is a respiratory infection associated with the COPD, then an antibiotic may be prescribed. Some other types of drugs used for this condition are theophylline and phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors, relates the Mayo Clinic.
Oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation are other treatment options used. Rehabilitation can include an exercise program and teaching people how to manage the disease by providing nutritional guidance and counseling, states the NHLBI. For severe COPD, oxygen therapy may be necessary. When all these treatment options do not provide relieve or the condition is very severe, surgeries like a lung transplant or the removal of damaged lung tissue may be an option.
COPD is the medical term used for different types of lung diseases like emphysema that cause breathing problems in people. Although there is no cure for COPD, treatment can help to control symptoms and manage the disease. The main cause of this disease is smoking, states WebMD.