(NAPSI)—A staggering number of people across the world are impacted by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), experiencing often debilitating symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.
Despite how common COPD is across the globe, awareness of the signs, symptoms and treatment options for the disease remains low. Too often, diagnosed patients and their families do not know what COPD is, how it will affect their lifestyle or what treatment options are available. Some patients may even hesitate to seek care due to the social stigma associated with the disease.1
The Reality of COPD
COPD is a progressive, life-threatening disease that is estimated to affect more than 251 million people worldwide, and is on track to become the third leading cause of death by 2020.2,3 In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 12 million adults have COPD, with another 12 million living undiagnosed.4
For patients and their families, it can be challenging to figure out how to manage the lifestyle changes that are required to properly manage COPD symptoms. Modern advances such as long-term oxygen therapy systems (both stationary and portable), noninvasive mechanical ventilation, and drug delivery technologies have helped enable patients to live longer and more actively. However, it’s crucial that patients remain adherent to their therapy programs in order to minimize COPD exacerbations.
According to Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, chief medical liaison at Philips, “COPD often presents challenges for patients to partake in daily activities. While COPD is a chronic condition, it doesn’t need to be a debilitating disease.”
New advancements in connected care technology offer patients the opportunity to help maintain their quality of life by receiving treatment at home through remote monitoring. Connected care solutions also provide patients with a strong support network, allowing local care teams to keep patients motivated and assist with day-to-day activities.
Adjusting to a COPD Diagnosis
If you or a loved one is living with COPD, a diagnosis can be a lot to take in. In addition to being adherent to therapy, Dr. Lee-Chiong believes that with a positive outlook and an active lifestyle, COPD patients can take back control of their lives.
Among Dr. Lee-Chiong’s tips, he recommends:
• Having a positive mind-set—It’s important to have a positive outlook on the disease and to understand that the key to remaining active lies within yourself.
• Defining your goals—Continue to ask yourself what you want to accomplish. Start by setting short-term and long-term goals.
• Maintaining a healthy lifestyle—Sustaining a healthy diet with proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and exercising is key. A poor diet can make symptoms worse and can negatively affect your ability to exercise and remain active. While exercise may seem challenging, start with enhancing strength, endurance and flexibility by breaking down tasks into smaller parts and scheduling frequent rest periods.
• Giving it time—Progress doesn’t happen overnight, but with exercise and a healthy diet, your strength and endurance can recover and your quality of life can improve.
• Knowing your options—Educate yourself about the available treatment options to manage your COPD symptoms and work with your care provider to develop a therapy regimen that’s tailored to fit the level of activity you wish to maintain in your lifestyle.
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed, or is experiencing symptoms of COPD, visit www.Philips.com/COPD-Health-Awareness.
1”Understanding the Social Consequences of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” American Thoracic Society 2007. Retrieved from: https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1513/pats.200706-084SD
2Global Burden of Disease Study” World Health Organization 2016. Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-(copd)
3Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 2017. Retrieved from: http://goldcopd.org/gold-2017-global-strategy-diagnosis-management-prevention-copd