Patients who are well educated about their medical conditions and who use self-management plans created in collaboration with their doctors have better outcomes in a number of chronic medical conditions. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes both chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is no exception. Patients who understand the disease process that causes COPD and who understand their treatment and management plans have fewer emergency room visits, fewer hospitalizations and fewer days with COPD-related symptoms.
If you are one of the 12 million people who know they have COPD, what can you do to have more days without COPD-related symptoms?
- First, partner with a physician who communicates well with you.
- Second, find resources that you can use to learn about COPD and the many treatment options available to improve your quality of life. We all learn differently, and there are excellent resources for patients to learn by video or illustration, by listening, or by reading. Links to some excellent resources are listed below.
- Finally, make an action plan with your physician to empower you to act when your COPD starts to flare up before you need emergency services or hospitalization.
Helpful videos on COPD, symptoms and treatment options: