Home Care Wilmette IL
COPD is broken down into stages based on how your loved one's body and lungs are affected by the illness. Understanding a bit about each stage can help you to spot signs that indicate that your loved one's health is worsening.
Before your loved one is officially diagnosed with COPD, she may have a few problems breathing. What she may have instead could include increased mucus production, resulting in a phlegmy cough. She likely also has a chronic cough that just doesn't seem to go away or that lingers for long periods of time.
The Mild Stages of COPD
In the early stages of COPD, your loved one's breathing tests may show that her airflow is somewhat limited. She is likely to still have a chronic cough and increased sputum production. Your loved one may not really notice that her breathing is limited at this stage and it's possible that she hasn't been diagnosed with COPD yet unless there have been extenuating circumstances that led to a diagnosis.
As your loved one's COPD worsens, her breathing becomes increasingly limited. Your loved one is far more likely to notice the limitation now and it primarily shows up as periodic shortness of breath. Your loved one may need to rest when exerting herself or walking. The moderate stage of COPD is when most sufferers tend to get a diagnosis because they look for a cause behind the shortness of breath. Your loved one may start taking medication or using an inhaler for long-term relief.
In the severe stages of COPD, your loved one has significant restriction to her airways. She may become short of breath with very little activity or even none at all. Your loved one may have other health issues, too, such as a greater risk for stroke or heart disease that tax her pulmonary system even more. Her doctor may prescribe oxygen or other advanced treatments.
When you know which stage of COPD your loved one is in, you can make the necessary changes to keep her breathing well. Work with your loved one's doctors, other family members, and home care providers to help her adhere to her COPD care plan at each stage.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services Arlington Wilmette IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.