The Knowledge Center

Goals of treatment

You can’t get rid of COPD, but you can get a handle on it.

The good thing about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is that it’s treatable. Learn about some options for managing COPD and discuss them with your doctor—so you can pursue the goal of breathing more easily.

Take action to breathe easier.

  • If you smoke, try to quit. Quitting smoking is the only thing that can help slow the progression of COPD
  • Pinpoint your COPD triggers
  • Talk to your doctor about pneumonia and flu vaccines
  • Talk to your doctor about maintenance treatment

Prescription medicine may help you breathe easier.

Long-term maintenance medicines are usually used to open your airways and help you breathe easier when taken every day. Rescue medicines may be prescribed for use when you feel sudden and uncontrolled symptoms while taking maintenance medication. Your doctor may prescribe both treatments to help you breathe easier.

  • Daily maintenance medicines are long-acting breathing medicines used for ongoing treatment of COPD
  • They're inhaled every day to help keep your airways open
  • Unlike rescue medications, maintenance medications are not used to treat worsening symptoms

Stick with it, even when your breathing improves.

To keep your airways open and your lungs less constricted, take your long-term maintenance medication every day. Long-term daily maintenance works best if you take it every day as prescribed by your doctor, even if you feel well. Taking daily maintenance therapy keeps your airways open so you can breathe easier.

Want to know more about:

Getting diagnosed? >

What to do after COPD diagnosis? >

How to manage COPD? >