The official blog of the Lung Institute.
How You Can Tell If Your Loved One Has COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be a very difficult condition to live with. From shortness of breath to severe coughing, these symptoms can often force a patient to depend on aid from others. Caregivers help by taking patients or loved ones to the doctor and help with normal tasks; such as cleaning or grocery shopping. But what if you don’t know what your loved one or family member is going through, especially from a disease like COPD? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here is what to look for in a person with COPD.
The Signs and Symptoms
Knowing how to recognize when a loved one has a problem can be a mystery all on its own. If you don’t know that they have a problem, you most likely will not be on the lookout for symptoms or changes in health. Now keep that in mind, because here are a few things to keep an eye out for as a caregiver when determining if your loved one has COPD:
- If they are exhibiting ongoing symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or complain of ongoing chest tightness.
- Have a history of smoking or have been exposed to air pollution.
- Needing to rest after walking short distances.
Most importantly, if you suspect that your loved one has COPD, encourage them to visit a doctor as soon as possible. The earlier they are diagnosed, the more effective a treatment plan will be in combatting the progression of the disease. In some cases, a full time caregiver may be needed to help care for COPD patients.
Real Meaning of Being a Caregiver
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of “caregiver” is a person who provides direct help and care for a child, elderly person or someone chronically ill. That’s it? Really? This simplified explanation does not even begin to comprehend the extent of what a caregiver has to go through. A caregiver is there for a patient day and night, through thick and thin, providing anything that person might need. They are doing what is best for their patient or loved one no matter what.
Being a caregiver doesn’t mean that you have to do it alone though. Many people can share in the roles responsibilities of taking care of a patient or loved one. Do some research online and you will be amazed how much information is out there to take care of someone with COPD.
Of course, if you are looking for an alternative treatment for COPD, then the Lung Institute might be able to help! If you or someone you love would like know more about treatment options, feel free to contact one of our patient care coordinators today or call (800) 729-3065 today.