The first building block of COPD treatment consists of taking medication, especially drugs that require inhalation. They are designed to stop inflammatory processes, reduce mucus production and expand the airways. Inhalers with holding chambers are suited to avoid the potential side effects of inhalation aerosol. They also allow for deeper inhalation of medication, which improves their effect. Patients can also use positive expiratory pressure devices, which create an airway oscillation inside the airways and make it easier to expectorate the secretions with a cough or huff. PEP therapy devices like the RC Cornet from CEGLA not only improve well-being but also verifiably reduce the need for medication.
Oxygen therapy is often prescribed for chronic respiratory failure. This relieves shortness of breath, allowing the patient to exercise longer and sleep better. According to studies, it improves overall health and increases life expectancy. This treatment is available as an inpatient, as well as an outpatient option for use at home or on-the-go thanks to portable equipment.
Studies have also shown that physical activity helps to slow the progression of COPD by improving muscle strength, reducing stress and easing symptoms. Especially during the advanced stage, exercise classes for sufferers have proven helpful. In addition to sports, chest physiotherapy is another way to fight the effects of COPD. Patients learn certain breathing exercises, controlled coughing, and helpful positions to reduce shortness of breath and support breathing. The basic exercise is so-called pursed lip breathing, a technique that helps prolong expiration, reduces the respiratory rate and improves oxygen saturation and airflow.