I've just been diagnosed with COPD
Just found out you have COPD? Find out what you can do to live well and manage your condition.
COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It’s a long-term condition. But you can do things to help yourself.
What is COPD?
Chronic = it is long term and does not go away
Obstructive = it makes it harder for you to breathe out
Pulmonary = it affects your lungs
Disease = it is a problem to be taken seriously
What care is available for COPD?
You should get the right care for your COPD. Our COPD Patient Passport gives you personalised advice about your treatment. It can help you to talk about your care with your doctor.
What can I do to help my COPD?
1. Stop smoking
If you smoke, the best way to help your COPD is to stop smoking. It’s easier to stop with help. Call Smokefree on 0300 123 1044.
2. Control your breathing
Learn ways to cope when you feel out of breath.
- Choose a position that’s good for you.
- Relax your shoulders, arms and hands.
- Breathe in through your nose. Breathe out through your mouth.
- Try to relax and feel calm each time you breathe out.
Ask your doctor, nurse or physiotherapist about ways you can breathe to help yourself.
Exercise helps you to feel better. You can get fitter and do more in your life.
- Ask your doctor or nurse about doing pulmonary rehabilitation or PR. These are classes for people with COPD.
- Do exercise you enjoy. Walking is a good start.
- Plan it into your day.
- Do as much as you can and slowly build up.
It’s recommended we all do 150 minutes each week.
4. Eat well and keep a healthy weight
Eat different types of food.
- Eat 5 lots of fruit and veg a day.
- Drink plenty of water.
Ask your doctor or nurse about a good weight for you. If your weight is too low or too high it can affect your breathing.
How can I manage my COPD?
It’s important that you have a plan to manage your COPD and know what to do if you have a flare-up.
Questions for your doctor or nurse
Get the most out of your time with your doctor or nurse.
Here’s a list of things you can ask:
- Do I use my inhaler correctly?
- Do I have the best drugs for my COPD?
- Do I need a rescue pack for my flare-ups?
- Is my flare-up plan ok?
- How can I exercise where I live?
- Can I get pulmonary rehabilitation (PR)?
- What can I do if I feel ill?
- What can I do if I feel down?
- What can be done if my COPD gets worse?
- Do I have the right contact numbers in an emergency?