COPD: Treatment Make an Appointment Refer a Patient Ask a Question Reviewed by Irina Petrache, MD, Russell P. Bowler, MD, PhD (March 01, 2021) At National Jewish Health, health care providers believe people with COPD can lead active full lives. Our treatment goal is to help people with COPD take charge of their breathing and maintain their quality of life. What are your COPD treatment goals? Decreasing shortness of breath Read about COPD medication, breathing techniques, exercise and lung volume reduction surgery for ideas on decreasing shortness of breath. Reducing exacerbations or flare-ups Learn about COPD medication, avoiding infections and COPD symptoms for ideas on reducing exacerbations or flare-ups. Becoming more active Read about breathing techniques, healthy lifestyle and exercise for ideas on becoming more active. Decreasing anxiety or stress Learn about breathing techniques and living with COPD for ideas on decreasing anxiety and stress. Improving mood Read about living with COPD and exercise for ideas on improving mood. Learning more about COPD Learn about patient education classes and support groups at National Jewish Health. People with COPD should become active in the treatment and management of their disease. Participating in your treatment plan will help you and your family take charge of your breathing. Talk with your health care provider about treatment that will help you achieve your goals. COPD Management Includes: Avoiding Infections Although it is important to take preventive measures to avoid lung infections, you do not need to isolate yourself from other people. There is no guaranteed way to prevent infections, however, if you are proactive with your vaccines, wash your hands thoroughly (with soap) and frequently; and are aware of your surroundings, then you will increase your chances of living an infection-free life. Learn about avoiding infections. Medications Your health care provider may prescribe medications to control the symptoms of COPD, like bronchodilators for COPD, combination bronchodilators and anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics. Learn about COPD medicines, tips for managing all your medications and techniques to inhale medications. Immunizations Immunizations for influenza and other respiratory infections (e.g. COVID-19) may reduce your risk of infection and exacerbations. Oxygen Therapy Some people with COPD may benefit from oxygen therapy. Oxygen therapy is used to ensure there is enough oxygen in the blood to provide for the body's needs. Learn about oxygen therapy. Pulmonary Rehabilitation Because of the many aspects involved in the care and management of life with COPD, you may choose to participate in a pulmonary rehabilitation program, which involves tailored treatment for your needs. Learn about pulmonary rehabilitation. Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS) Lung volume reduction surgery is considered for adults with certain patterns of severe emphysema. Specific tests are done to determine if lung volume reduction surgery is recommended. These tests include breathing tests, a chest CT scan, arterial blood gas (ABG), lung perfusion study and exercise test. Learn more about LVRS. COPD: Associated Conditions COPD: Lifestyle Management Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.