Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)


COPD can't be cured, but it can be treated. Early diagnosis, lifestyle changes and appropriate drug treatments can help you lead a normal and active life, feel better and stay out of hospital.

Quitting smoking is the most important step in treating your COPD.
It helps to quit smoking, even if you already have COPD. In fact, quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to feel better. COPD will get worse if you continue to smoke or are around second-hand smoke or air pollution.

Take Your COPD Medications

COPD medicines cannot cure COPD, but they can improve your symptoms. Your doctor will prescribe the COPD medicines that are right for you. Learn more about COPD medicines  

Join a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a specialized exercise program for people with long-term lung disease like COPD. It includes sessions on quitting smoking, breathing control and energy managment as well as education on medicines - when to use them and how to use them properly. Most sessions focus on improving your exercise ability to improve your quality of life.  There is a lot of research that shows that pulmonary rehabilitation helps people with COPD live better. 

Lung Transplantion

Lung transplantations may be an option for some people with very advanced COPD, who no longer smoke, and who won’t live long unless they have a lung transplant. If a person qualifies for a lung transplant, they are put on a wait list for a donation. The wait might be long. In a lung transplant surgeons take out one or two of the lungs and replace them with healthy lungs. The surgery can be risky. People who get transplants must take anti-rejection medicines (immunosuppressants) for the rest of their lives. 


This content was review on October 4th, by the Canadian Thoracic Society's COPD Clinical Assembly.

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Page Last Updated: 08/03/2019