Taking Action

When You Are Diagnosed With COPD
There are many things that you can do to make living with COPD easier:

Quit Smoking

If you smoke, the best thing you can do to prevent more damage to your lungs is to quit. Ask your doctor or health care provider about new options for quitting. The National Cancer Institute has information on smoking cessation. Visit SmokeFree.gov, the American Lung Association, or call 1-800-QUIT NOW for more information.

Avoid Exposure to Pollutants

Image of an old coupleTry to stay away from other things that could irritate your lungs, like dust and strong fumes. Stay indoors when the outside air quality is poor. You should also stay away from places where there might be cigarette smoke.

Visit Your Doctor or Health Care Provider on a Regular Basis

See your doctor or health care provider regularly, even if you are feeling fine. Be sure to bring a list of all medicines you are taking to each office visit.

Follow Treatment Advice

Be sure to take your medications and follow your doctor or health care provider's advice on how to treat your disease. If you have any questions-ASK!

Take Precautions Against the Seasonal Flu

People with COPD are at higher risk for serious problems from certain vaccine-preventable diseasesimage of external icon. That's why it's a good idea to get a flu shot every year. Talk with your health care provider about what vaccines you need to stay healthy during flu season. Also, do your best to avoid crowds during flu season and remember to wash and sanitize your hands, which can be one of the best ways to guard against getting sick. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information about vaccinations in generalimage of external icon and for people with high risk of developing flu-related complicationsimage of external icon.

Seek Support from Other COPD Patients

There are many COPD support groups offered at local hospitals and there is a very active COPD community online. Family members are also a great resource for support as you learn to live with and manage COPD.