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COPD and Home Respiratory Care

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Living with an underlying illness like COPD can be quite taxing, both physically and mentally. When it comes to living with COPD, there are some resources that can make life easier and make managing your symptoms more convenient.

What is COPD?

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a serious lung disorder that affects more then 20 million people in the United States alone. The diagnosis of COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Often times, people with COPD have both of these conditions. Each are explained below:

  • Chronic bronchitis is a condition in which your airways in your lungs become swollen and produce too much mucus. The swelling and excess mucus narrow the airways, making breathing difficult.
  • Emphysema is a condition in which the bronchioles (small airways) and alveoli (small air sacs) are damaged and lose their normal elasticity. Like worn-out balloons, the alveoli become over-expanded. They don’t contract to push air out as easily when you breathe out. Air tends to stay trapped inside your lungs, and fresh air outside your body has a hard time getting in. This limits the oxygen going in — and the carbon dioxide going out — of your bloodstream. These problems are made worse because the small blood vessels around the alveoli are also damaged.


Most people develop COPD after many years of breathing in a substance that damages the lungs and airways, such as cigarette smoke (the most common cause of COPD), dust or fumes, or fuel or gases.

Not all cases of COPD come from breathing in substances from the environment. Family history can also play a role. People with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, for example, have an inherited form of emphysema.

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Diagnosis and Tests

Breathing problems can come from many different conditions. Before diagnosing COPD, your doctor will assess your lungs and overall health by reviewing your medical history as well as running tests such as a physical exam, imaging tests, lung function tests, breathing tests, and exercise tests.  

The lung damage caused by COPD cannot be repaired, and unfortunately the disease cannot be cured. However, there are things that can be done to reduce symptoms and improve overall quality of life.


Treatment for COPD depends on the severity of your disease, your daily habits, and your overall health. Typically, treatment for COPD includes quitting smoking, other daily life style changes like exercising, practicing breathing techniques, lowering stress, and eating a balanced diet. Medication can also help control and manage symptoms and prevent exacerbations.

why solvet?

Solvet provides home respiratory care to patients struggling with various respiratory diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and various neuromuscular diseases. With almost 25 million Americans reporting that they have been diagnosed with COPD, the country’s 3rd largest killer behind Cancer and Congestive Heart Failure, Viemed, a Solvet partner, provides a solution for people who suffer from this debilitating disease.

Receive top quality care from our staff of nurses and healthcare providers right in the comfort of your own home. It is our priority to make sure our patients are able to manage their COPD while living the quality of life they deserve.

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