1. Tips for Living Well with COPD

Health and Safety

  • If you are a smoker, make a plan to quit.
  • Vaccinations are important. Get a flu shot every year and talk to your health care provider about the pneumonia shot, COVID-19 shot, and other vaccinations.
  • Eat a well balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Notify your health care provider at the first sign of an infection or exacerbation (flare-up).
  • Take medications exactly as prescribed.
  • Avoid people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid breathing in allergens and irritants, including secondhand smoke.
  • Talk with your health care provider about activity, exercise, and pulmonary rehabilitation.
  • If you use supplemental (extra) oxygen, use it as prescribed.
  • See your doctor at least once or twice per year, even if you feel well.
  • Talk about your feelings with a friend, family member, or support group. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a mental health professional.
  • If you plan to travel, talk to your health care provider in advance about your trip goals and plans.

Tools and Techniques

  • If you have trouble clearing mucus, ask your health care professional about coughing techniques and devices that help clear your lungs.
  • Used pursed lip breathing when you feel short of breath.
  • Monitor your health status with the COPD Assessment Test (CAT).
  • Complete the My COPD Action Plan with your health care provider and keep it handy.
  • Learn more about advance directives so your end-of-life wishes will be honored.

Resources for Individuals with COPD

Information courtesy of the COPD Foundation.