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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (cont.)

What is the treatment for COPD?

Patient Comments

The goal of the treatment of COPD is to improve the patient's daily living and quality of life by preventing symptoms and exacerbations, thereby preserving optimal lung function.

If a person is diagnosed with COPD, a health-care professional will educate the person about the disease. The individual will be encouraged to actively participate in their treatment program.

Quitting smoking and COPD

Smoking cessation is the most important thing a person can do to improve their condition. Stopping smoking can improve COPD symptoms.

Most patients with COPD are currently smoking or have smoked in the past. A plan to stop smoking is an essential part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Smoking cessation success rates, however, are low because of the following:

  • The addictive power of nicotine
  • The conditioned response to smoking-associated stimuli
  • Psychological problems, including depression, poor education, and forceful promotional campaigns by the tobacco industry

Setting a quit date may be helpful. A health-care professional will participate with the patient by setting a target date and by scheduling follow-up visits.

The transition from smoking to not smoking occurs in five stages:

  1. Precontemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance

The process of smoking cessation involves multiple interventions. Smoking intervention programs include the following:

  • Self-help
  • Group
  • Physician delivered
  • Workplace
  • Community programs

Successful cessation programs typically use the following resources and tools:

  • Patient education
  • A quit date
  • Follow-up support
  • Relapse prevention
  • Advice for healthy lifestyle changes
  • Social support systems
  • Adjuncts to treatment (for example, medications)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/29/2015

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD):

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Symptoms

The symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

COPD - Treatment

What was the treatment for your COPD?

COPD - Prognosis

What is your COPD prognosis?

COPD - Experience

Please describe your experience with COPD.

COPD - Home Remedies

What home remedies have been effective in treating your COPD?

COPD - Diagnosis

How was your COPD diagnosed?

COPD - Medications

What medications have been effective in treating your COPD?

COPD - Causes

What caused your COPD?


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease »

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a devastating disorder that causes a huge degree of human suffering.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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