Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease. The lungs become damaged, making it hard to get air in and out of your lungs. The damage to your lungs cannot be changed.


  • Stop smoking if you smoke. Avoid secondhand smoke.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Talk to your doctor about using cough syrup or over-the-counter medicines.

  • Drink enough fluids to keep your pee (urine) clear or pale yellow.

  • Use a humidifier or vaporizer. This may help loosen the thick spit (mucus).

  • Talk to your doctor about vaccines that help prevent other lung problems (pneumonia and flu vaccines).

  • Use home oxygen as told by your doctor.

  • Stay active and exercise.

  • Eat healthy foods.


  • Your heart is beating fast.

  • You become disturbed, confused, shake, or are dazed.

  • You have trouble breathing.

  • You have chest pain.

  • You have a fever.

  • You cough up thick spit that is yellowish-white or green.

  • Your breathing becomes worse when you exercise.

  • You are running out of the medicine you take for your breathing.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.