If you've reached Stage II, you are probably just noticing your symptoms -- primarily shortness of breath that worsens with activity. You may also start noticing that you are coughing more, and have more mucus than you usually do.
You may be wondering if Stage II moderate COPD is treated any differently from other stages. Luckily, GOLD has treatment guidelines for every stage of COPD and as your disease progresses, treatment options will be added in an effort to better manage your symptoms. Listed below are the recommended treatment guidelines for Stage II, moderate COPD:
Why quit smoking if you already have COPD? Smoking cessation is the number one goal of treatment, no matter how far along you are in the disease process. Quitting at this stage can dramatically slow the progression of COPD allowing you to live a higher quality of life and live longer. In addition, there are many other health benefits to quitting.
- Complete Guide to Smoking Cessation
- 10 Tips to Help You Kick the Habit
- Guide to Stop-Smoking Aids
- Your Quit-Smoking Toolbox
- Quit-Smoking Support Group
Flu and Pneumonia Vaccines
GOLD Guidelines recommend flu and pneumonia vaccines for every stage of COPD treatment. Flu shots help decrease your risk of COPD exacerbation, while the pneumonia vaccine helps you prevent bacterial pneumonia, a common cause of COPD exacerbation.
Short Acting Bronchodilators As NeededShort-acting bronchodilators are commonly referred to as rescue inhalers. Medications such as Albuterol and Proventil are recommended on an as needed basis to manage persistent or worsening COPD symptoms.
- Bronchodilators for COPD Treatment
- List of Common COPD Inhalers
- How to Use an Inhaler, Diskus or Nebulizer
One or More Long-Acting Bronchodilators
Long-acting bronchodilators are meant to help people with COPD prevent or reduce symptoms. These medications are generally added to treatment once you reach Stage II, moderate COPD. According to GOLD, combining bronchodilators with different modes of action may be more effective than using just one bronchodilator alone, with equal of fewer side effects. Listed below are some examples:
Long-Acting Beta Agonists
Pulmonary rehabilitation utilizes the entire health care team to target different areas of your treatment. Studies show that pulmonary rehab helps reduce symptoms, improves quality of life, decreases social isolation and increases survival. The program generally consists of a winning combination of exercise training, nutritionists, education and counseling to help reach its goals.
- The Benefits of Pulmonary Rehab
- Pulmonary Rehab: How Long is Long Enough?
- Exercise Basics for People With COPD
Don't Forget to Eat Right
Healthy nutrition is often overlooked when planning a treatment program. A nutritious diet not only helps you look and feel better, but, it will give you the extra energy you need to get through your day and breathe easier. Eating healthy foods may also reduce your risk of lung infections, a common cause of COPD exacerbation.
- Guidelines for a COPD Diet
- Healthy Eating Tips for People With COPD
- Adding Calories to Your Diet to Prevent Malnutrition
Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease. Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of COPD. Updated 2010.