Treatment of COPD

There is no treatment that is able to cure the chronic obstructive pumonary disease (COPD), since the obstruction is not reversible. The treatments in use are generally symptomatic or designed to prevent worsening of the illness.

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The number one priority remains smoking cessation, which may be accompanied by help in quitting smoking.


Smoking cessation has a beneficial effect at any stage of the illness. Medicine is available to diminish the symptoms of the COPD and improve the patient’s quality of life. At early stages of the illness, we prescribe bronchodilators, which help to dilate the bronchial tubes and inhibit dyspnea. This medicine is administered in aerosol form. At the other end of the scale, for the most severe forms of the illness, we must provide patients, suffering from respiratory insufficiency, with oxygen in the form of oxygen therapy or assisted ventilation.

 

The main medicinal treatments for COPD are:

- Bronchodilators, to dilate the bronchial tubes and inhibit shortness of breath.

- Antibiotic therapy in the case of a bacterial secondary infection. - Respiratory rehabilitation.
 
In some cases, respiratory therapy can facilitate expectoration and ventilation. This is primarily for patients suffering from chronic bronchitis rather than for COPD patients, and is part of respiratory rehabilitation.
Surgical remedies are possible on a case-by-case basis. 
 

Sources: 

- HAS
- WHO

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