COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

We can help

If you have any questions or would like and come check your technique, we offer a variety of services which we guarantee to help you:

  • Measure the impact that COPD has on your wellbeing and daily life with a questionnaire called COPD assessment test
  • Discuss your medicines and manage any concerns you have about them
  • Check you’re using your inhalers correctly using In-check Dial Device Advise you about other aids that may help your breathing and medication, including spacers, peak flow meters and Haleraids Advise you on how to stop smoking and support you on your quitting journey
  • Provide annual flu and pneumococcal jabs
you can practice breathing control techniques. The british lung foundation, www.blf.org.uk has lots of useful guidance that may help you you can practice breathing control techniques. The british lung foundation, www.blf.org.uk has lots of useful guidance that may help you

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the name given to a number of lung conditions, such as, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. It is a narrowing of your airways making it difficult to breath; you may also get a persistent cough with phlegm and frequent chest infections.

  • Difficulty breathing, especially during physical activity
  • Persistent cough with phlegm
  • Persistent wheezing
  • Frequent chest infections

Whilst there is no cure for COPD, the symptoms can be manageable and by controlling it, you can reduce symptoms and ‘’flare ups’’ which will help you lead a normal life. Inhalers are usually the main type of treatment, with preventers, relievers (usually blue) and combination inhalers. There are also medicines that help reduce the viscosity of your sputum (the substance you cough up) so you may be prescribed tablets. It is very important to use your inhaler regularly, even if your COPD symptoms seem to be under control. It is also important to use your inhaler correctly or you won’t get the full benefit from this medication.

For the pressurised, metered-dose inhaler, they usually look like the image shown here.

  • You must always shake it before use
  • Put it in your mouth and make a seal with your lips around the mouth piece
  • Press the canister at the top to release the drug while inhaling it in one deep breath

If your inhaler doesn’t look like the one on the picture, follow the instructions from the manufacturer and inhale as directed. Otherwise pop into your local pharmacy and one of our pharmacists will be happy to help.

One of the best ways to deal with breathlessness is Pulmonary Rehabilitation. This combines exercise, with education and support to help you learn to breathe as well as you can. If you are feeling breathless just take five minutes to sit down and relax. You can take control of your COPD with a self-management plan; this will teach you how to monitor your COPD by understanding your triggers and medication, while helping you to know what to do if you have an exacerbation. Speak to your prescriber about setting up your own self-management plan or download one from the British Lung Foundation.

There are certain triggers that may make your COPD suddenly worse. Whenever you experience these exacerbations or ‘’flare ups’’, make sure you notify your GP immediately so that they can help. Once you have identified your triggers it is best to avoid them as much as possible and as best you can.

The main COPD triggers are:

Weather
The weather can be one of your main triggers. When it’s hot try and stay in cool room or cool areas, especially during the heat of the day. If you have to go out make sure to wear a hat and sunglasses, to protect yourself from the sun. Make sure to keep an eye on the pollen count and make sure to keep your doors and windows closed during the morning and evening, when the pollen is at its highest.

Smoking
The most common cause of COPD is smoking. So quitting smoking all together is one of the main ways to ease your symptoms. If you do smoke and would like to quit ask a member of the LloydsPharmacy team in your local store for advice. Our Online Doctor service can also offer you support and advice, simply visit their website.

Exercise
It is extremely important to try and exercise as much as you can. You might not want to exercise because it makes you breathless, but light regular exercise such as short daily walks can really help to ease your symptoms.

Infections
Flu and pneumonia can intensify the symptoms of COPD, so get vaccinated every year. Ask in your local LloydsPharmacy store for details on our annual winter vaccinations programme.

If you have any questions or would like and come check your technique, we offer a variety of services which we guarantee to help you:

  • Measure the impact that COPD has on your wellbeing and daily life with a questionnaire called COPD assessment test
  • Discuss your medicines and manage any concerns you have about them
  • Check you’re using your inhalers correctly using In-check Dial Device
  • Advise you about other aids that may help your breathing and medication, including spacers, peak flow meters and Haleraids
  • Advise you on how to stop smoking and support you on your quitting journey
  • Provide annual flu and pneumococcal jabs

Respiratory Support Service

Our Respiratory Support Service is completely FREE and confidential, giving you expert advice on how you can help relieve your symptoms. We also give you tips on how to improve your inhaler technique, giving you more confidence to manage your asthma.

Respiratory Support Service

Online Doctor

You can keep on top of your condition with our Online Doctor Service. We can provide you with the preventer and reliever inhalers you need for either same day collection or next day delivery.

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