Has your doctor recently dropped the bombshell on you that you have COPD? If so, you might have a lot of questions about what that really means, how you will be affected as time marches on, how well treatment will work and so on.
Asking such questions is good, because seeking out the answers can arm you with the knowledge you need to live the best quality of life possible within the limits of your disease.
Yes, COPD is a chronic illness that will – over time – have significant effects on your daily life. And it will eventually result in your death. But that can be years in the future, and it is definitely possible to live a full, high quality life, even if you do have COPD.
If you have loved ones and friends in your life, they are probably also concerned about what your diagnosis may mean for you and for their relationship with you in the future.
So, learning all you can about COPD is one of the best things you can do to ensure you live your life to the fullest for as long as possible
How to Arm Yourself With COPD Knowledge
Unfortunately, there is a ton of misinformation available on the Internet today, which is where most of us tend to turn when we need to know more about something. It’s important to search for your COPD knowledge from reliable medical sources.
This website at HealthCentral is a great place to start!
But I thought that I would steer you towards some other reliable health sources as well.
The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, called GOLD for short, is an international organization whose aim is to improve COPD awareness and to improve prevention and treatment of this disease.
GOLD has developed a wonderful little pamphlet that can be downloaded right from their website (PDF format). In plain & simple language, it explains what COPD is, what to expect, and what you can do about it. I highly recommend you download it and share it with everyone you know. Here is the link:
The American Lung Association is another great place to gather information about COPD. They have educational information on the site, as well as a number of resources you might find helpful, including a “better breather” community. They even offer online caregiver support.
And finally, the United States’ National Institutes of Health offers a lot of COPD information through its subdivision, National Health Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). In fact, they have created a whole website dedicated to COPD education, called LearnMoreAboutCOPD.org.
At that site, you can find all sorts of COPD information, as well as tips on how to live better with COPD.
If you take the time to fully explore these three websites, and to download the GOLD pamphlet, you should be well on your way to becoming an expert on COPD! And you will have taken the first steps towards living positively with COPD.
Kathi is an experienced consumer health education writer, with a prior career in nursing that spanned more than 30 years — much of it in the field of home health care. Over the past 15 years, she’s been an avid contributor for a number of consumer health websites, specializing in asthma, allergy, and COPD. She writes not only as a healthcare professional, but also as a lifelong sufferer of severe allergies and mild asthma, and as a caregiver for her mother with COPD.