How to manage COPD?

November 14, 2023

Good diet, proper exercise, proper medications can help you feel better, stay active and slow down the disease progression. The following steps may help:

Quit smoking if you are a smoker

The most important way of helping yourself is to give up smoking. You need to find your motivation to give up smoking, which should be strong enough to help you quit. Once you decide to quit, you can seek support in various ways. You could join quit smoking classes or meet a counsellor. You could even consider nicotine replacement therapy. It comes in various forms like patches, chewing gum or lozenges. However, consult your doctor before trying these.

Understanding your COPD medicines& inhalers

Some general classes of medications are those that help widen the airways (bronchodilators), reduce swelling in the airways (such as steroids), and/or treat infections (antibiotics). The bronchodilators can be short acting (4-6 hours) or long acting (10-12 hours). The bronchodilators most often prescribed are beta2-agonists, anticholinergics.

Follow Correct inhalational Technique.

Using the correct inhaler technique helps you reach the medicines directly to the lungs where it is
needed. Incorrect inhalation technique of medication will not let you get complete benefit of the
medicines. You must get your technique verified from your doctor. Few things that need to be taken
into consideration are –

  • Make sure that the inhaler you choose is apt for your age, ability and skill after consulting your doctor.
  • Train yourself regularly and get yourself examined for your technique.

The most common error made by the people as per a study conducted is not continuing to inhale slowly after the canister is activated. And the other activity most patients had difficulties with was exhale before the inhalation.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program which is tailor made for each patient that helps them manage their breathing problems, increase their stamina and reduce breathlessness.
You will learn the following pulmonary rehabilitation:

Nutritional Diet

Diet in COPD plays a major role like in many other conditions. Your doctor might refer you to a dietitian
to help you plan your personalized diet.
You could follow these healthy diet tips:


  1. https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lu ng-disease-lookup/copd/learn-a bout-copd (American Lung Association). Accessed on 14th June, 2021.
  2. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. COPD essentials for health professionals. NIH Publication No. 07-5845. December 2006. Bethesda, MD.
  3. https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/copd-intro.pdf (American Thoracic Society). Accessed on 14th June, 2021.
  4. https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/copd-medicines.pdf(American Thoracic Society). Accessed on 14th June, 2021.
  5. Assessment of the inhalation technique in outpatients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease using a metered-dose inhaler or dry powder device. van Beerendonk 11, Mesters I, Mudde AN,
    Tan TD J Asthma. 1998;35(3):273-9
  6. https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/pulmonary-rehab.pdf (American Thoracic Society). Accessed on 14th June, 2021.
  7. Effect of supplementing a high-fat, low-carbohydrate enteral formula in COPD patients. Nutrition. 2003 Mar;19(3):229-32. https://www.healthline.com/health/copd/diet-nutrition. Accessed on 14th June, 2021.
Disclaimer: This material is for informational purpose only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional.  You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.