20 Apr 2018

Common Myths about COPD

There are many myths about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and how it affects the lives of people who live with it. We share some common myths and the facts to help patients understand this better.

Myth

One common myth surrounding COPD is that people think it is only a smoker’s disease, but that could not be further from the truth.

Fact

10-20 percent of people who develop COPD have never smoked. Though smokers are the highest risk, people exposed to second-hand smoke and other pollutants from the environment or the workplace are also at risk.


 

Myth

Another myth is that COPD is not treatable.

Fact

Although there is no cure for COPD, there are medicines, procedures, and lifestyle changes that can slow the progress of the disease and lead to a higher quality of life.


 

Myth

People with COPD should not think that it is impossible to be active or enjoy life due to their illness.

Fact

Even in severe COPD, there are ways to make life more manageable. Although it takes hard work and patience, people with COPD are able to lead quality lives. The exact treatment plan depends on the stage and the severity of the COPD. Lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining physical activity including pulmonary rehabilitation, will typically be encouraged.


 

Myth

Exercise is too hard if you have COPD.

Fact

If you find that shortness of breath makes it too difficult to be physically active, there are further steps you can take. Moderate exercise will not hurt your lungs. In fact, it can lessen COPD symptoms, strengthen your heart and reduce stress. Build up to 20 to 30 minutes of exercise three to four times a week.

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