Sunovion is proud to partner with Loni Anderson, the COPD Foundation, and Caring.com to give COPD patients and caregivers like you some knowledge and tools to help you manage COPD.
COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. The illness is a combination of emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic inflammation of the lungs.
The damage COPD does to the lungs is permanent; however, there are things you can do to manage the disease and feel better. These include changing your lifestyle, tracking your symptoms, and getting medical treatment.
To help you manage your or your loved one’s COPD, we’ve created COPDTogether.com and several downloadable resources for patients and caregivers. Start using these tools today to take a proactive approach to living with COPD.
Although COPD is a serious and progressive disease, there are medications that can help you manage its symptoms. Many COPD medications are inhaled, but some can be taken as pills or syrup.
COPD rescue medicines start working within minutes and are taken for sudden symptoms or taken when breathing suddenly becomes difficult. Short-acting bronchodilators can be beta2-agonists (which relax muscles around the airways), anticholinergics (which inhibit nerve impulses), or a combination of both.
COPD maintenance medicines are taken on a regular basis every day, to help manage your COPD. Long-acting bronchodilators can be beta2-agonists and anticholinergics. Other maintenance medicines include inhaled corticosteroids (to reduce swelling and inflammation), or a combination.
Corticosteroids can also be taken orally. Other oral medications that may be used to treat COPD are available, such as theophylline and PDE4 Inhibitors.
COPD medications are available in many forms. Inhaled medications are the most often prescribed because they deliver the drug to your airways. The three most common ways to administer inhaled COPD medications are the following:
With all the COPD medicines and delivery devices that are available, it's important to speak with your healthcare provider to find out which treatment option may address your symptoms.
Like many who grew up in the 1930s and ’40s, TV and movie actress Loni Anderson’s parents were heavy smokers. Her father, a Navy flyer in World War II, smoked four packs a day. Her mother’s story was similar. As Loni recalled in an interview, “My memory of my mom is a wine glass in one hand and a cigarette in the other. She was a runway fashion model, and she was quite a glamorous woman.”
But glamour came at a cost. By the time they were of retirement age, both of Loni’s parents had advanced COPD. That’s when Loni began taking an active role in her parents’ care and treatment.
Loni’s experience inspired her to take an active public role in the care of millions of COPD sufferers and their loved ones. Today, she has become a leading voice for COPD issues and education.
According to Loni, “People… don’t realize that that they could be getting help and some relief.” More than that, even among well-trained physicians, not all have the detailed knowledge necessary to treat COPD effectively at all stages of development. “Your family physician probably isn’t an expert in COPD,” Loni also observes. It’s a fact that highlights the importance of knowing what kind of questions patients need to ask doctors—and doctors should ask patients—to unearth the information necessary for successful treatment.
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