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What Can COPD Caregivers Do to Help Themselves and Their Loved Ones?

122017image006When an individual is diagnosed with a chronic disease, they will often need continuous care to remain as healthy as possible, visit doctor’s appointments and complete daily tasks. The caregiving responsibility frequently falls to a family member such as a spouse. Complicating matters, these caregivers are not usually equipped with the necessary healthcare training, which leads to a heavy burden.

“Caregiving is an important role for these individuals. Because COPD can be a really long-term illness, it can be a long-term commitment to care for a COPD patient,” said Dr. Philip Diaz, a pulmonary specialist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “And because many COPD patients have comorbidities, or other diseases that require treatment, that can increase obligations on the caregiver even more.”

According to a study published in Respiratory Medicine, the average duration of a caregiving period is 7.2 years. This is an extensive period of time due to the fact that COPD is a progressive disease and the intensity of care is likely to increase throughout time.

“Caregiver stress is one of the most stressful situations there is,” said Diaz. “But there are ways to make caregiving a little easier, and that starts with understanding the disease and its treatments better.”

Education is Key

“When given the opportunity to [educate themselves], caregivers often go above and beyond and can actually find a deep sense of fulfillment in helping their loved one deal with this difficult disease,” said Scott Marlow, a respiratory therapist at the Cleveland Clinic.

By attending support group meetings, caregivers can not only educate themselves, but they can also feel like “they’re not alone in caring for a loved one with COPD.” Meetings often cover topics ranging from traveling and vacation tips to oxygen tank recommendations that will enable an increased quality of life. Discussions also focus on energy conservation and personal hygiene techniques. It can be helpful for caregivers to attend doctor’s visits with their loved one to better understand their condition and treatment protocols. It also provides caregivers with the opportunity to ask physicians questions regarding appropriate care.

Importance of Taking Care of Yourself

It’s vital that caregivers ensure that they take the necessary steps to remain healthy, well rested and active themselves. This can be a challenge due to the extreme stress associated with caring for a patient with COPD. To maintain a healthy mindset and reduce the pressure of their role, caregivers should dedicate time for exercise and hobbies, as well as consider having an additional caregiver that can provide a well-needed break.

Emphysema Treatment Market to Discern Steadfast Expansion During 2017 – 2025

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occurs when a chronic obstruction of lung airflow interferes with a patient’s normal breathing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Emphysema is one of the diseases that falls under the category of COPD, which causes patients’ inhalation and exhalation to slow or even stop for a period of time resulting from inflammation of the alveoli.

Patients with emphysema have a higher rate of mortality “due to respiratory failure, lung infection or heart attack.” However, if emphysema is effectively treated, hospitalizations are prevented, and patients can experience a reduced shortness of breath.

Emphysema treatments are critical due to the fact that nearly 3.1 million adults in U.S. developed emphysema due to cigarette smoking. Based on a survey, smokers are six-times as likely to develop emphysema compared to non-smokers.

Many of the treatments for emphysema have significant side effects. For instance, patients who use inhaled steroid medications may experience weakened bones and cardiovascular diseases. The use of oral steroid medications may also lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.

Treatment Market Growth122017image008

Due to the prevalence of COPD, and emphysema in particular, as well as the need for improved treatments, it is expected that “the global market of emphysema treatment will show tremendous growth.” Currently, the treatment most preferred by patients with these conditions is smoking cessation. However, there is also a demand for treatment plans that include bronchodilators, corticosteroids and oxygen medications, as well as new medications, therapies and products.
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