Although there is no complete cure of COPD, measures are taken to manage or palliate the condition.
- Oral Medications: The main medicines used in treatment for COPD are bronchodilators, steroids, theophyline, and antibiotics.
- Inhalers: Bronchodilators and steroids are administered through inhalers as they manifest their effects faster than the oral route.
Long term use of Bronchodilators can lead to distressing effects like palpitations, disturbed digestion, muscle cramps and insomnia.
Prolonged use of steroid medications in treatment for COPD too have their share of adverse reactions like weight gain, thinning of skin, high blood pressure and blurred vision.
- Oxygen Therapies: In patients with low oxygen in the blood, a supplement of oxygen is needed, which will help them to at least get through the day without much discomfort.
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation Therapy: This treatment for COPD is designed to enable the person to perform routine activities and improve quality of life. These programs include education, breathing exercises training, diet and nutrition and counselling.
- Surgery: Surgery is rarely considered in treatment for COPD. However in cases with severe COPD, surgery is looked upon as an option. Certain surgeries are performed according to specific requirements like Bullectomy, Lung Volume Reduction Surgery and Lung Transplant. However surgeries are not a long term solution and they can only limit the disease to a certain extent.