Getting the most from your COPD treatment

When it comes to managing your COPD, are you doing all you can?

Try these 4 tips to get the most from your COPD treatment:

1. Know your COPD treatments and how to use them.

Do you sometimes wonder what all of your COPD treatments are for and when to use them? Are you unsure if you are using your medications (especially inhalers) the right way? Do you occasionally miss doses of medication?

If so, it's time to talk to your doctor about your COPD treatment.

2. Keep track of your symptoms and flare-ups.

COPD treatment is based on how severe your COPD is (mild, moderate or severe) and how many flare-ups (COPD exacerbations) you have. Keep track of your COPD symptoms and flare-ups, and discuss this information with your doctor at each appointment. This can help you and your doctor make sure you are on the most appropriate COPD treatment for your level of severity.

If your COPD symptoms are bothering you or if you have frequent flare ups, it is important to speak to your doctor as best treatment is highly individualized.

3. Have a COPD Action Plan™*, and keep it up to date.

A COPD Action Plan™* is a written plan that helps you tell if you are having a COPD flare-up (also called a COPD exacerbation) and know how to take care of yourself when this happens.

If you don't have a COPD Action Plan™* download and print the PDF and ask your doctor to help you fill it in.

If you do have a COPD Action Plan™*, visit your doctor twice a year to keep it up to date.

4. See your doctor regularly, and speak up about your questions and concerns.

COPD is a chronic disease that can get worse over time. To make sure your COPD treatment is optimal for your COPD symptoms and severity, visit your doctor regularly. Ask your doctor how often you should have a check-up.


*© 2013 Canadian Thoracic Society

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