Here is a roundup of the articles, news & updates that we've published on the PERF blog site during the past month. Click on the "Read More" link at the bottom of each excerpt to read the full article.
Ted Koppel – CBS – Clearing the Air About COPD [VIDEO]
“COPD has an image problem,” says Ted Koppel, Senior Contributor to CBS Sunday Morning, whose wife Grace Anne was diagnosed with the disease 16 years ago.
“I call it the Rodney Dangerfield of diseases,” says Grace Anne, “because ‘It don’t get no respect.’”
If they smoked, COPD sufferers are often blamed for their disease. But while smoking is the single most significant cause of COPD, often other factors such as pollution or work environment are the contributing causes. And while 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease and another 10 to 15 million may have COPD but have not yet been diagnosed, awareness of the disease is low.
Pursed Lips Breathing For People With Pulmonary Fibrosis
By Brian L. Tiep, MD
Pursed lips breathing has been shown to relieve shortness of breath and increase oxygen saturation in people with COPD. It was originally discovered by the patients themselves, who experienced that exhaling through pursed lips made them feel better. Researchers determined that the back pressure created by exhaling through pursed lips slowed exhalation and enabled patients to exhale more fully. A more complete exhalation allows more room to inhale the next breath. I learned from my studies using lung models that inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth could eliminate more CO2 with each breath. Mary Burns and I did two studies – the first showed patients with COPD could increase their oxygen saturation by pursed lips breathing while viewing their oximeter – a kind of biofeedback technique. This technique is commonly taught in pulmonary rehabilitation programs. The second study showed that patients with restrictive diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis also were able to increase their oxygen level.
Increasing Physical Activity When You Have COPD: A Roundtable Discussion [VIDEO]
Three leaders in their fields discuss the challenges and benefits of increasing physical activity for people with COPD: Dr. Barry Make, Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver; our own Dr. Richard Casaburi of Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, a member of the faculty at UCLA School of Medicine and President of PERF; and Dr. Bruce Bender, a psychologist at National Jewish Health and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado.
What Happens When You Have COPD And Lower Your Physical Activity: A Roundtable Discussion [VIDEO]
Drs. Barry Make, Richard Casaburi, and Bruce Bender continue their roundtable discussions about COPD; this time they talk about what happens when a COPD patient reduces physical activity levels. They explain that the activity level in everyday life is the best predictor of outcomes in patients with COPD, such as whether a patient will be hospitalized or even die. The prediction power of activity level is even better than the patient’s fitness level or even lung function. So increasing physical activity is the key component of managing COPD symptoms.
Stimulating Patient Engagement In Managing Their COPD [VIDEO]
Drs. Barry Make, Richard Casaburi, and Bruce Bender continue their roundtable discussions about COPD; this time they talk about why it’s important to stimulate patient engagement in the management of their disease.