DEAR DOCTOR K: I have COPD. My doctor is great about prescribing medication, but he doesn't give me much other advice. So I'll ask you: What can I do to improve my quality of life?
DEAR READER: There's a lot you can do. And I have to admit that not all doctors are very good about telling you how your actions can protect your health. First, some basics. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of disorders that damage the lungs and make breathing increasingly difficult. Common symptoms include a mucus-producing cough, breathlessness, rapid breathing, wheezing, tightness in the chest and fatigue.