Summer Newsletter – Online Edition
Welcome to your Select Health COPD Management Newsletter. We’re here to bring you all the most up-to-date information on managing your Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), providing strategies to prevent COPD from interfering with your life activities, and giving you helpful tips to live the healthiest life possible!
Creating a COPD Action Plan
An important part of managing your COPD is learning how to monitor your symptoms and talk to your doctor to get the help you need. This action plan developed by the American Lung Association, divides your symptoms into three zones – Green, Yellow, and Red.
- Green should be your baseline, when COPD symptoms are not interfering with your daily life.
- Yellow signals caution. You’re experiencing symptoms, and should contact your healthcare provider if they don’t improve from the treatments you’re taking.
- Red is life-threatening and means you should call 911 or seek medical care immediately.
Using an action plan is easy, and can help you and your doctor stay on top of your COPD symptoms, so give it a try!
Traveling with COPD
Don’t let COPD hold you back from taking the trip of your dreams! With a little planning, you’ll be well on your way to a worry-free vacation.
Before traveling, talk to your doctor about your symptoms, where you’re planning on going, and for how long. Discuss the climate, the altitude, and other factors which might increase your risk of a COPD flare-up. Then, you can make a sensible plan tailored to your needs.
Make sure you leave home with all of the medications you need for your whole trip, including any over-the-counter medications you use to manage your COPD, as well as antibiotics and corticosteroids, just in case you need them. In addition, it’s a good idea to have a medical passport with you, containing your doctor’s contact information, your medical conditions, and a list of all your medications. You might want to also consider getting a medical alert bracelet.
Go with a travel partner. Traveling is more fun with a friend or loved one! And if you do have a flare-up, they’ll be right there to help you through it.
Remember that travel often involves changes in altitude – whether it’s on a plane, or in a car. Be sure you can handle altitude changes by chatting with your doctor about your travel plans first.
If you need supplemental oxygen, be sure to make arrangements with your travel providers well in advance. You’ll want enough oxygen for the trip, whether you’re flying, driving, or sailing the high seas. And be sure your equipment has plenty of batteries and a place to charge up.
If you take these precautions, and plan your trip carefully, there’s no reason for COPD to interfere with your adventures, wherever they take you!
We all need a little help with our healthcare sometimes. That’s where Select Health’s Care Managers come in. They’re nurses and social workers, trained to help you meet your health goals.
They’re here when you need help with:
- Getting screenings and immunizations
- Coordinating care for a chronic condition
- Understanding your insurance benefits
- Or even just getting a ride to a clinic
Learn more about Select Health Care Management.
Looking for resources to help you manage your COPD? Look no further!
First off, if you haven’t quit smoking, you should. But maybe you need help. Here are some great smoking cessation resources for you:
Interested in learning more about lung health? These sites have loads of helpful information, tips, and much more:
- American Lung Association
- COPD Foundation
- Intermountain Health
- National Lung Health Education Program
As always, if you need more resources, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. They can always point you in the right direction!