COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The picture above is from the website:

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is basically a combination of bronchitis and emphysema.

COPD can cause excess coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Other irritants such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust—also may contribute to COPD.

In COPD, less air flows in and out of the airways because of one or more of the following:

According to the European Respiratory Journal of 2011 inspiration training of the lungs can help those with COPD.

Use of Inspiratory Muscle Training, Eur Respir J. 2011 Feb;37(2):416-25.Impact of inspiratory muscle training in patients with COPD: what is the evidence?Gosselink R1, De Vos J, et al.

Inspiration training or breathing in with resistance can help by ….effectively increasing respiratory strength and endurance, exercise capacity, dyspnea (difficulty in breathing), and quality of life.

Inspiration training improves SOB (shortness of breath) in activities of daily living with  those with severe disease

If you have COPD, you may need assistance from your physician with :

Supplemental oxygen if you oxygen reading is consistently below 90% O2

Nebulizer-  A device that helps you inhale your medicine

Positive Expiratory Pressure Therapy- A device that helps get rid of mucus

Chest wall oscillator (vibrations) – A device that helps get rid of mucus

Pulse oximeter device to measure your oxygen levels at home on your finger


    Figure A shows the location of the lungs and airways in the body. The inset image shows a detailed cross-section of the bronchioles and alveoli. Figure B shows lungs damaged by COPD. The inset image shows a detailed cross-section of the damaged bronchioles and alveolar walls.

COPD is the third  leading cause of death in United states – NIH 2013 –

Higher prevalence in women across the lifespan compared to men – GOLD 2015, Akinbami 2015 –

It is estimated by 2030, COPD will be the 3rd leading cause of death in the world – Balmes 2013

Image result for barrel chested image

The above picture is barrel chested person. This is a sign of COPD.



Image result for clubbed fingers image

The above pictures is of finger clubbing- a sign of COPD.

Some exercises to aide you with your Doctor’s treatment if the Doctor deems appropriate would be these 2 exercises below. One is for inspiration and the other is for inhalation /exhalation. A home health nurse can be crucial to you in helping you with reconciling your medications (helping to make sure there are no harmful side effects and make sure with your physician that you are taking your medications properly) A home health speech therapist can be crucial as well with helping you with breathing strategies.

Image result for spirometer image


An incentive Spirometer helps with inhalation resistance training. The cost is about 10$ at local pharmacies or medical supply stores.

Suck in on the device 10 x ,  5 x a day for 8 weeks. Try to improve the score you get by 500 every week.


This next device is called the Breather.


Image result for exhalation copd device


Perform resistance level 1 to start 10 x inhaling 3 x a day 5 x a week for 6 weeks. Then build up the resistance as able to the next level every 2 weeks or as it becomes too easy.  Consult your physician, speech therapist, physical therapist, or occupational therapist.

Exhalation and inhalation device for breathing at variable resistances. This device is called the Breather and can be bought for about 30$-40$ at medical supply stores or online at  It is reimbursable through Medicare often.

Consult with a respiratory therapist or speech therapist, pulmonary Doctor about your uses of these devices and for the amount of times to use them.


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