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Therapeutic Toolbox

For those people living with chronic lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema, there are a number of tools that can be used to improve breathing and limit adverse effects from allergens and poor air quality.

These tools come in a number of shapes and sizes and each address a unique need that chronic lung patients may have. These include face masks, oxygen concentrators, and metered dose inhalers. As always, it is best to consult with your physician before investing in equipment of any kind, as they will know what treatment options best suit your needs.


According for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year as a result of the flu, largely due to other infections and complications that can arise when the flu virus is present in the body.

People diagnosed with chronic lung conditions such as asthma and emphysema are at an increased risk of complications from the flu virus, particularly the respiratory problems that result. That is because the flu affects the lungs, causing inflammation and airway narrowing that is already prevalent in people with chronic lung conditions.

The best way to prevent the flu and any subsequent respiratory problems associated with it is to stay up to date with flu vaccines. In addition, check with your healthcare provider about the possibility of getting a pneumonia vaccine.

Good hygiene can also decrease your chances of viral infections such as the flu. Wash your hands frequently or use antibacterial hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing or coming into contact with someone who is sick.

Just because it is flu season does not mean that you have to get the flu. Take the proper precautions and protect yourself against infection.

Personal Health Diary

Keeping track of your medical history is an important part of managing your chronic illness. For many people living with a chronic condition, there will be multiple doctors and physicians that treat you on a regular basis. It is important that each of these caregivers has your most recent medical history to ensure that you are receiving the highest quality care possible.

Included in your personal health diary should be the following information:

  • Your full name, date of birth, blood type and emergency contact information

  • Your primary physician as well as any specialists you may see

  • Any medications you are currently taking, dosages and how long you have been taking them

  • Chronic diseases or illnesses that you have been diagnosed with and how long you have been living with those conditions

  • Dates and results of any major tests, screenings or surgeries

  • A list of allergies, including food and drug allergies

  • Family medical history

Aside from keeping yourself and your caretakers up to date with your recent diagnoses and treatment, a personal health diary may also be a valuable tool in case of emergency, as you can present emergency responders, nurses and physicians who do not treat you on a regular basis with your complete medical history.

With this information by your side, you will ensure that you are receiving the best care possible and managing your illness to your best ability.


June 01, 2015
COPD Takes Big Toll on Employment, Mobility in U.S.
A new report published in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has found that nearly one-quarter of Americans that suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, are unable to work.

May 18, 2015
One-way valves to treat severe emphysema
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are investigating a one-way valve for its ability to improve lung function.

May 04, 2015
LifeMap and Mount Sinai Launch COPD Navigator App Pilot
COPD appWith the release of Apple’s HealthKit, LifeMap Solutions, a digital therapeutics provider, and Mount Sinai partnered to create a self-management program called COPD Navigator.

March 23, 2015
A New Hope for Severe COPD Patients
Blount Memorial Sleep Health Center has recently correlated advances in non-invasive ventilatory support with that of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment.

March 10, 2015
Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Combat COPD?
This past January, researchers from the University of Rochester were awarded $1.6 million to embark on a four year series of studies involving a group of compounds derived from omega-3 fatty acids and their ability to combat inflammation caused by cigarette smoking, which can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

February 23, 2015
COPD: The Nutrition Connection
For those individuals dealing with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema, difficulty breathing is an all too common daily experience.

February 16, 2015
The Importance of an Early Diagnosis in COPD Patients
Usually irreversible and progressive, a late diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) poses a problem as the disease may be rather advanced before the cause of the patient’s respiratory problems are diagnosed.

February 02, 2015
Developing a Diagnostic Breath Test
Paramedics responding to 911 calls often find themselves in a situation where a patient is having difficulty breathing. Here they must ask themselves: is this patient suffering from acute emphysema or heart failure?

January 26, 2015
Results of Costly Emphysema Operation Are Mixed, Study Finds
The widely promoted lung volume reduction surgery that promises to help ease symptoms of severe emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may not provide all the benefits that are expected, including prolonged life.

January 19, 2015
Nutrition Treatment in Hospitalized COPD Patients Shows Improved Health Outcomes
The results of a recent study showed reduced hospital costs, lengths of stay and chances of returning to the hospital within 30-days for patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who were receiving oral nutritional supplements.

January 12, 2015
Research Shows Vitamin D Reduces Lung Disease Flare-ups by Over 40%
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London found that vitamin D supplements have the ability to reduce chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) flare-ups in vitamin D deficient patients.

December 15, 2014
New Stem Cell Research Offers Insights into Novel Emphysema Therapies
A new study published in Respiratory Research, studied the impact of different mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the treatment emphysema.

November 10, 2014
Technology Company Gives COPD Patients a Lifeline with New Gadget
Philips, a healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting technology company, has released a wearable health tracker that is helping chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients record biometric data associated with the disease that can be accessed from the patient’s mobile device.

September 29, 2014
Protein Therapy Successful in Treating Injured Lung Cells
The most recent effort to find a treatment for those suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other debilitating lung conditions has shown success in repairing lung tissue in preliminary animal testing.

September 22, 2014
COPD Treatment Shows Significant Success with Smartphone Application
Patients suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can now get support from a new smartphone application.

July 22, 2014
Managing COPD in the Summer
With summer upon us, it is imperative that individuals suffering from emphysema andchronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) know how to manage their symptoms in hot and humid weather.

July 07, 2014
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Life-Changing for Many COPD Sufferers
Many chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients could see a return to normalcy through pulmonary rehabilitation, according to article in Medical Xpress “COPD patient returns to active lifestyle thanks to pulmonary rehabilitation.”

June 23, 2014
Comprehensive Smoke-Free Communities and Emphysema Go Hand-In-Hand
Individuals living in a community with comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws or regulations are 22 percent less likely to be hospitalized for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or emphysema.

May 12, 2014
Support Groups May Improve Disease Outcomes
Participation in social support groups may improve disease outcomes in elderly patients. That is according to a recent study published in The Journal of Aging and Health, “The Relation of Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Social Support to Disease Outcomes Among the Elderly.”

April 21, 2014
Bacteria in Lungs May Make COPD Patients Sicker
While the medical profession has long agreed that bacteria in the lungs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients are harmless when independent of flare-ups or exacerbations of respiratory symptoms, a new study may suggest otherwise.

April 07, 2014
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs, usually caused by infection.  There are 84 known strains of pneumonia with 24 strains included in the pneumonia injection.

March 30, 2014
Irish Study Reveals New Therapy for Hereditary Emphysema
Researchers from Ireland may have uncovered a new therapy for people who suffer from hereditary emphysema.

February 14, 2014
The Impact of Obesity on Respiratory Function
For chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema patients, maintaining a healthy body weight is an important aspect of disease management. That is because obesity can often lead to a worsening of symptoms, as well as a decrease in both exercise tolerance and quality of life.

February 07, 2014
Get Your Flu Shot!
It’s that time again. Where ever you get your flu vaccine – GO!  Flu seasons are unpredictable and the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from year to year.  It can begin in October and last through May, peaking in January and February.

September 05, 2013
Overcoming Anxiety and Depression
According to a review of current literature, “Anxiety and Depression in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) — A Review,” roughly 50 percent of people living with COPD exhibit symptoms of anxiety and depression.

June 01, 2013
Lifestyle Changes to Improve COPD Symptoms, Quality of Life
For people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma or emphysema, oftentimes trouble breathing can make even the simplest of tasks difficult to complete.

March 11, 2013
Reducing COPD Flare-ups
For people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), breathing can be very difficult and exacerbations can often lead to hospitalization.

February 25, 2013
Frequently Asked Questions About Living with COPD
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you probably have a number of questions.

June 04, 2012
COPD Comorbidities Linked to Higher Risk for Death
A number of comorbidities commonly associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are independently associated with a higher likelihood of death.

May 14, 2012
Can Natural Remedies Help Treat COPD?
There is no shortage of natural remedies on the market today to treat, heal and cure our many ailments—chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) included.

May 28, 2012
Putting a Stop to Smokers’ Thinking
Whether you have been smoking for 2 years or 20 years, part of the difficulty of quitting is in breaking the habit of thinking like a smoker.

April 16, 2012
New COPD Clinic Could Reduce or Eliminate Hospital Stays
The Internal Medicine Clinics (IMC) has launched a new multidisciplinary clinic for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients that is expected to reduce the admission rates and length of stay for COPD patients at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre in Ontario, Canada.

March 12, 2012
Program to Test the Effectiveness of Remote Monitoring of COPD Patients
The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and eResearch Technology Inc. (ERT) have announced that they will be launching a program to test whether remote health monitoring will benefit patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

February 20, 2012
Scans May Identify Patients at Increased Risk of COPD Complications
Quantitative CT scans may help identify chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients at a heightened risk of flare-ups more effectively than spirometry, according to a recent study published in the journal of Radiology.

January 23, 2012
Online Tool Allows Patients to Better Manage Chronic Illnesses
Individuals suffering from chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, bronchitis or emphysema, now have an online resource to help them learn how to better manage their disease and improve their health.

December 12, 2011
Early Detection of COPD Instrumental in Lung Cancer Diagnosis
While it is well-known that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a significant risk factor for lung cancer, with approximately 1% of COPD patients developing the cancer each year, a recent study has shown that the early detection of COPD is instrumental in picking up more cases of lung cancer in COPD patients.

November 28, 2011
CT Scans May Be Helpful in Detecting COPD
Computed tomography (CT) scans may be helpful in identifying patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

October 17, 2011
Airway Bypass Procedure Fails Clinical Test
While early findings demonstrated promising results, recent studies have proven that patients with severe emphysema derive no significant benefits from a less-invasive alternative, known as airway bypass, to surgical lung-volume reduction, known as the sham procedure.

June 20, 2011
The National Association of Managed Care Physicians (NAMCP) Unveils COPD Resource Center
The National Association of Managed Care Physicians (NAMCP) has unveiled the Medical Directors COPD Resource Center, a resource designed to provide medical directors, practicing physicians and patients with up-to-date information on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

May 23, 2011
Study Challenges Provisions for End-of-Life Care in COPD Patients
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal has challenged the current assumptions supporting the provisions for end-of-life care for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

April 18, 2011
Asthma, Emphysema Patients May Be Misusing Inhalers
Many people with asthma or emphysema may be taking their inhaled medications incorrectly, according to a recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

March 14, 2011
Future Management of COPD Sees Shift in Approach to Treatment
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of disability and mortality and is significant strain on the healthcare industry, creating personal and financial burdens that must be addressed.

March 07, 2011
Adherence to Inhalation Therapy May Improve Quality of Life in COPD Patients
Adherence to inhalation therapy may contribute to adherence with overall therapeutic regimens and improved health status in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

May 17, 2010
Even Mild COPD May Limit Heart Function
Researchers have long known that severe cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have diminished the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively.

April 28, 2010
Gene Variant said to Protect against Asthma, COPD
A variant of the gene MMP12, which plays a role in inflammation, seems to protect the lungs of children with asthma and adults who smoke, according a recent study.

April 20, 2010
Gene Therapy May Prevent the Progression of Emphysema
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have discovered a new gene therapy that may prevent the progression of emphysema.

March 24, 2010
hLung Volume Reduction Surgery Proven Beneficial to Emphysema Patients
Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) may improve the quality of life and overall well-being in patients with severe emphysema, according to the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT), the first study to randomize emphysema patients to receive LVRS or non-surgical medical care.

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