Previous Page  7 / 8 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 7 / 8 Next Page
Page Background





with chronic obstructive pul-

monary disease (COPD), it’s important to remember

these two truths:


The disease doesn’t go away, even with treatment.


But you can learn to live better with COPD and slow

the damage to your lungs.

Here are some suggestions on how to take good care

of yourself:

If you smoke, commit to quit

. Even if you smoked for

many years, it’s never too late to quit. Stopping now is the

best way to help keep COPD from progressing at a faster

pace. Ask your doctor about medicines or products that

could help you.

See your doctor.

Regular checkups are especially im-

portant when you’re managing a chronic condition. Your

health care team can answer questions you have about

your condition and help you overcome any obstacles to

staying healthy.

Take your medicines as prescribed.

They can help

you feel better—if you use them correctly. Again, talk to

your doctor if you have questions about your medicines

or experience bothersome side effects.

Get a yearly flu shot.

Catching the flu can be much

more serious when you have a lung disease. Find out from

your doctor if you need a pneumonia shot too.

Pace yourself.

COPD can make you feel tired. To help

conserve energy so you don’t get worn out:


Take your time with chores.


Put often-used items in easy-to-reach places, such as

a lower shelf.


Use a cart with wheels to move laundry around.


If your home has a second floor, have some items

moved to the first floor to cut down on climbing stairs.


Wear clothes and shoes that are easy to remove.


Ask family or friends for help.


Is it a cold or the flu? Sniffle, sneeze, cough. Something seasonal is bugging you. But what exactly is it that’s got you under the weather?

Those vile viruses that cause colds and the flu can cause remarkably similar symptoms. It can be hard to tell them apart based only on

how you’re feeling. One general clue is how bad your symptoms are—flu symptoms tend to be more severe. But that’s not the only difference.

Here are some more clues to help you uncover what’s causing your ills.

Don’t forget to see

your doctor each fall

for that all-important

preventive measure:

your annual flu shot.


Cover your sneeze, please!

Sneezing is a common cold

symptom, although it can

sometimes accompany the

flu. A stuffy or runny nose

is also more common to a



The flu is more likely than

a cold to lead to complica-

tions such as pneumonia

and bronchitis. If you

think you have the flu, you

may want to check in with

your doctor. Prescription

flu drugs called antivirals

may shorten the time you

are ill.


Feeling overheated?

You’ve probably caught

the flu. Fevers occur only

rarely with a cold. Run-

ning a temp is common,

however, with the flu.

Temperatures often reach

100 to 102 degrees and

last three to four days.

Aches and pains

When everything hurts,

chalk it up to a likely case

of the flu. Headaches and

body aches abound when

the flu virus invades, and

those pains can be quite

severe. Acetaminophen or

ibuprofen can help provide

relief. Colds can be ac-

companied by aches and

pains, but they tend to be



If you’re dealing with

extreme fatigue, it’s often

a result of the flu. Exhaus-

tion is common with the

flu but rarely results from

a cold. Flu-induced fatigue

can affect you for an

extended time, sometimes

as long as two or three


Sources: American College of Emergency Physicians; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Institutes of Health

Manage stress.

Feeling stressed can make it harder to

breathe. Find ways to relax—perhaps listening to music

or sitting quietly—that work for you. But tell your health

team if you feel overwhelmed, anxious or depressed.

Talk with your doctor about lung rehab.


rehabilitation may improve your ability to do activities

without getting out of breath. Classes typically include

support, coping tips and exercise.

Know when to call your doctor.

Ask your health care

team what changes in your symptoms should prompt a

call to their office or to 911.

Sources: American College of Chest Physicians; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Our pulmonary rehab

program has helped many

people with COPD enjoy more

active lives. For details, go to

and click on “Pulmonary


H e a l t h y Yo u

F A L L 2 0 1 6