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Therapeutic Treatment and Post Treatment Management of COPD
Numerous treatments of COPD have been developed in order to cope with its symptoms, even though the disease cannot be cured (MC 2012). The scope of treatment goes from lifestyles changes to surgery (NHLBI 2012). A doctor can prescribe a combination of medication if an individual is having ongoing breathing problems (COPD 2012). Before understanding what the treatments for COPD do, it is important to understand the causes of COPD. Wheezing and difficult breathing are some of the symptoms of COPD, this is caused by narrowing of bronchial tubes (Partners Healthcare 2010). The three main medications that can be prescribed for patients with these symptoms of COPD includes: Inhaled bronchodilators, corticosteroids and nebulizer. Bronchodilator causes the bronchial muscles to relax resulting in dilation of the tubes (MC 2012). One of the advantages of inhaling bronchodilators is that it goes directly to the bronchial muscles; it does not pass through the stomach. COPD also causes inflammation; inhaled corticosteroids are designed to reduce these inflammations (UC 2007). When the patient breathes in the medicine, it is pulled down into the lungs, where the particles rest on the walls of the inflamed airways (UC 2007). The medicine goes to work right where it lands, relieving the swelling and excess mucus production (UC 2007). Finally, a nebulizer is a portable machine that works with an air compressor (KH 2012). It takes the liquid medication, Albuterol, and transforms it into mist, which is inhaled with a mask or mouthpiece (KH 2012). Nebulizers are ideal for children since they are easy to use. They are similar to inhalers, apart from their high dose ability of medication in rescue situations (KH 2012). Sometimes the disease gets too severe for it to be just treated by medication; in that case, a more permanent action needs to take place such as lung volume reduction, or lung transplantation (CLA...