The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, often abbreviated COPD, is a complex medical condition, which includes a number of pathological changes. The person in question might suffer from emphysema and chronic bronchitis, as well as from non-reversible asthma.
Facts on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Those who suffer from this condition experience breathing difficulties and have a chronic cough, which often leads to the production of sputum (excessive production of mucus). Wheezing might also be present in COPD patients. In the majority of the cases, the symptoms are caused by the presence of emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
The good news is that the manifestations of COPD can be kept under control with proper management. It is important that the patient follows a strict treatment plan, often consisting of medication, physical therapy and oxygen administration. Left untreated, the condition can cause organ damage, including of the heart and lungs.
According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 65 million people who suffer from different forms of COPD (ranging from moderate to severe). Health specialists, however, draw attention to the fact that there are many more other people out there who are not aware of suffering from this condition (despite the manifestations).
COPD is a condition which can lead to life-threatening complications and even death if left untreated. The overwhelming majority of the deaths occur in underdeveloped or developing countries. The number one risk factors is cigarette smoke but air pollution and the presence of irritating gases can lead to this condition as well.
For a long time, it has been believed that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is diagnosed only in smokers. This belief has been demoted and, today, it is a known fact that COPD can be easily diagnosed in those who have not smoked once in their lives (but live in polluted airs, for example, or have an occupational hazard, such as a job in the mine).
With the right treatment plan, often based on the regular intake of prescription medication, the condition can be managed and, in some cases, even treated. The main idea is to find adequate treatment/management solutions, so as to improve the overall quality of life.
CareClinic, a useful tool for the management of COPD
If you have been diagnosed with this condition, you can rely on CareClinic as your COPD app. It will be useful for managing every aspect related to the disease and also serve as a highly-effective medication reminder.
A chronic condition can have a severe impact on your life. As you will deal with so many symptoms and find yourself to be less able to handle everyday activities, you might feel overwhelmed. Moreover, you might have difficulties staying organized, remembering doctor appointments and when to take your medication. CareClinic can help with all that and even more.
You can rely on the COPD care app to manage your health in the context of a chronic condition. The application can be accessed through a smartphone or through a regular computer (web interface is just simple and easy to use). You can use even use it to simplify your treatment plan, taking advantage of the daily checklist.
Speaking about accessibility, you have two options available, depending on your smartphone: the COPD app android or iOS. Regardless of the smartphone from which you will access the application, the features offered are the same. Also, the application is available for free, with no in-application purchases.
A reminder for all – doctor appointments, medication
How can you be sure that this is the right application for you? Well, first and foremost, it will serve as a medical reminder. You can set up reminders for different types of medication and receive push notifications for each. If desired, you can set up the time when the notification will be sent. There is also the snooze feature, which can be used to keep on reminding you about a particular dose (in case you did not take it at the intended time).
The pill reminder is more than necessary for someone who suffers from such a complex condition as COPD. You might have to take several pills for the different manifestations, perhaps at even various moments in the day or week. You can organize reminders for your entire treatment, receiving alerts on when and how the medication should be taken.
It is useful to know that the reminder function can be used for other reasons as well, including doctor appointments. Imagine that you have several appointments in the week, for a diverse number of specialists.
Some might be in the same location but the hours will certainly differ. You need to stay organized and the CareClinic app can help you with all of those things, serving as a functional COPD treatment log.
You can also upload the medication you are currently taking into the application, customizing your treatment plan accordingly. Thus, you will be able to review your treatment at any moment and even discuss potential adjustments with your treating physician. What matters is that thanks to this application, you will be less stressed and find it easier to deal with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Health Journal – a way to keep track of your condition & progress
The health journal of CareClinic is one of the most exciting features, helping you manage your condition in an effective manner. You can record symptoms in the journal, as well as medication, potential side-effects and response to certain treatments or therapies.
It is possible to add information about your current diet, as well as physical activities and sleep quality/frequency. A comprehensive health report will be created based on the information you have entered at the end of each month.
Apart from recording and monitoring your COPD symptoms, you can trust the health journal to keep track of important measurements. For instance, you can record your breathing frequency and volume – these are highly-essential parameters for someone who suffers from a respiratory disease. Of course, you can also record your blood pressure, respiratory gases values and other useful measurements.
The health report, which is generated from the data you have logged, can be shared with the doctor quite easily. You can either export it as a PDF document or print it out, using it to improve the communication with different healthcare professionals. Together, you can establish the best treatment regimens, suited to your medical needs.
Better breathing with CareClinic’s app
You can improve your breathing with the help of CareClinic. Using it as a COPD breathing app, you can make entries regarding the correct management of inhalers and even add breathing exercises of your health journal.
For a person diagnosed with COPD, inhaled medicine might be a part of the daily routine. However, this will only work its effect upon being correctly administered. You can make recordings of proper techniques, in accordance to your inhaler type and also program the dosing schedule. Of course, you can set up reminders to use the inhaler at specific moments in the day.
COPD Management and Treatment
Based on the above-mentioned symptoms and with the help of standardized investigations, such as spirometry, imaging studies (X-ray, CT, MRI) and arterial blood gas testing, one can make the diagnosis of COPD. Depending on the severity of the condition and the pre-existing conditions, the doctor might recommend a number of treatment solutions.
Medication is often prescribed for the management of this chronic condition. Bronchodilators, either to be inhaled or in the form of tablets, are recommended to improve breathing and reduce the production of mucus. Common choices include beta-2-sympathomimetics and theophylline. The dilatation of the bronchial tubes can also be obtained with anticholinergics, which offer similar benefits in terms of breathing capacity/quality.
If the patient experiences acute respiratory distress, beta-2-sympathomimetics are commonly administered. In accordance with the exhibited manifestations, the doctor might prescribe medication with short-term effects, such as Salbutamol, or drugs with a longer period of action, including Indacaterol, Formoterol or Salmeterol.
Theophylline is a medication which is often kept as a last resort. It can dilate the bronchial tubes but it can also lead to a number of serious side-effects. Cortisone has potent anti-inflammatory properties and it can be inhaled, but it can cause the patient to become dependent.
Specific medication is administered to reduce the production of mucus and make the chronic cough less severe/frequent. Apart from mucolytic medicine, bronchodilators might be recommended, especially with a slow-acting effect (for example, one can administer Tiotropium). These are suited to those who do not exhibit an improvement of symptoms after being treated with beta-2-sympathomimetics.
Additional treatment/management solutions include:
- Vaccination (influenza, pneumococcal disease)
- Oxygen therapy
- Beta-blockers (reduce the risk of life-threatening heart conditions, such as myocardial infarction)
- Physical therapy
- Patient education (inhalation techniques)
CareClinic is constantly improved by a complex team of specialists
A complex team of specialists works to consistently improve the CareClinic application and adapt it to the needs of those suffering from chronic conditions, COPD included. The application is meant to be easy to understand and use, suited to patients of all ages and occupations. Moreover, you can add a caregiver or more, and save their information for future reference.
It is also worth mentioning that the strictest privacy laws are respected, with your information being protected at all times. You can opt for additional information security by setting a password for your application.
To manage your COPD, click here to sign up and create a care plan.