There are two types of inhaled bronchodilators that are used in the treatment of COPD. A bronchodilator is used to help relax and open the part of the airway known as the bronchi. This bronchodilator is used to treat asthma flares as well and helps to alleviate the symptoms of COPD by dilating or widening the airway making it easier to breathe. An alternative form of bronchodilator targets different receptors in the body and works to relax the smooth muscles surrounding the airway. This improves airflow and can reduce symptoms such as shortness of breath.
Corticosteroids are used when a patient is experiencing severe symptoms. They work to reduce inflammation and can be taken by mouth (as a pill) or inhaled. This medication is reserved for short term use when your COPD suddenly worsens.
Depending on your symptoms of COPD, a combination of medications can be used to effectively treat and manage the disease. Bronchodilators and corticosteroids can be combined into a single inhaler or nebulizer solution to reduce inflammation in the airway, decrease coughing, wheezing and prevent shortness of breath.
Some patients with COPD can benefit from supplemental oxygen therapy either temporarily or for long-term use. Supplemental oxygen can help patients with COPD stay more active and feel better. To find out if oxygen therapy is right for you, call Pulmonary Associates of Richmond today at (804) 320-4243.
If you have symptoms of, or been diagnosed with COPD, Pulmonary Associates of Richmond can help you find the best way to treat and manage the disease. As lung specialists, your quality of life matters to us and we look forward to partnering with you in finding effective treatments that can restore and improve your day-to-day quality of life.