Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung condition, which means the symptoms and lung damage it causes tend to get worse over time. Regular checkups from your doctor are very important if you have COPD. These checkups give doctors the opportunity to track the progression of COPD, and there are 2 other reasons that regular checkups are important too.
1. Doctors Can Check Your Lung Function
Your ability to breathe is one of the factors that COPD affects, and it often worsens over time. Regular checkups are vital for COPD patients because they allow doctors to check your lung function. Typically, lung function is tested using a spirometry test.
During this test, you’ll be asked to inhale as deeply as possible, and then, you’ll release this breath into the mouthpiece of a spirometer. This device will record how much air you can exhale in a few seconds. The results of regular spirometry tests can allow doctors to track the lung function changes caused by your COPD.
2. Your Oxygen Saturation Can Be Measured
Another reason regular checkups are important when you have COPD is so your oxygen saturation can be checked. Oxygen saturation is the amount of oxygen people have in their blood. Red blood cells have molecules called hemoglobin that attract oxygen that diffuses into the blood from the lungs. However, the lung damage COPD causes can lead to less oxygen entering the bloodstream.
Using tests like arterial blood gas or pulse oximetry, your doctor can test the level of oxygen saturation in your blood, and this can be a strong indication of how well your lungs are working. The results from oxygen saturation tests can also act as a warning for serious issues that can happen because of low blood oxygen levels, such as low blood pressure.
Check Your Checkup Schedule to Ensure You’re Set for the New Year
Many COPD patients like to set up a schedule of regular checkups with their doctor, and January is a good time to make sure that your checkups are scheduled for the new year. This will allow you and your doctor to closely monitor the progress of your COPD. It can also help head off sudden worsenings of COPD symptoms that can lead to costly hospital visits.
Lung Health Institute Offers Several Treatment Options for COPD
At Lung Health Institute, our health care team offers many natural treatment options for COPD and other chronic lung diseases. One of the options we offer that’s designed to treat COPD symptoms naturally is our Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™, or AI2™.
Information about many lung-healthy food options is a big component of the AI2, and one of these options is seafood. This plan also contains specific recipes that are designed to help your lungs. Other information in this initiative includes exercise advice, sleeping tips and help for relaxation. All these natural methods are combined with the intention of helping to boost your immune system and training your body to fight inflammation using fats.
Take the next step to Breathe Easier™. Contact a Lung Health Institute patient coordinator today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.