Information & Advice
COPD is a term that covers chronic lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Whether you've been recently diagnosed, or have been living with COPD for some time, we know you may feel anxious about exactly what the condition means for you.
If you can understand your condition, you may be able to better cope and feel in control of it, to help you enjoy the best possible quality of life.
Unfortunately, there is no treatment which can cure COPD but there are things you can do to help keep it under control and possibly slow down its progression.
Boots pharmacy teams are specially trained to help people with COPD. If you, or someone who cares for you, comes into store, they will be able to offer you help and advice, plus answer questions in a private setting. They can also take you through steps to help minimise your lungs' condition worsening.
Although using an inhaler may seem simple enough, about 71 per cent of people using a Metered Dose Inhaler, the most common type of inhaler, are not doing so correctly.
Your local Boots pharmacist can show you some of the simple steps you can take to help improve your inhaler technique, which will ensure the medication works better for you.
This could include working on your inhaler breathing technique, so medication reaches your lungs and help gives you the relief you need, rather than only hitting the back of your throat.
They can also review your medication and talk you through any concerns you may have, such as side effects.
You may be worried about COPD preventing you from living an independent life and doing the things you enjoy. We understand that maintaining some level of control over your COPD is important to you.
To help work out the level of control you have over your condition, your Boots pharmacist can offer you a COPD Assessment Test, which is a simple, straightforward and reliable way of assessing how well your condition is managed.
Together you can then try to identify manageable lifestyle changes you can make to help you better control your symptoms.
They can help you recognise the symptoms of flare ups, such as coughing up more phlegm, and learn how to manage them, so when they do occur you are prepared and can cope with them.
Breathlessness can be a frightening experience, so if you are worried about exercise bringing it on, your Boots pharmacist can help you look at what level of activity you can safely manage. Not only does exercise help with weight loss, in time, it can improve lung capacity so you breath more easily.
1. COPD and smoking
COPD is mainly caused by smoking, although that's not true for everyone. If you are a smoker, giving up is the single most important thing you can do to manage your condition. But we know that this isn't easy. Boots pharmacy teams can help you explore the available options to help increase your chances of quitting successfully as part of the stop smoking pharmacy service.
2. Repeat Prescription Service or Midnight Pharmacy
It is important to stay on top of your medication but if multiple trips to the pharmacy isn't a realistic option, you may find it convenient to use our Repeat Prescription Service. Or, if you need to make a trip to the pharmacy out-of-hours, you might want to visit one of our Midnight Pharmacies. Use the store locator to search for your local Boots pharmacy and find their opening hours.
3. Winter Flu Jab
If you have COPD, you may be more prone to chest infections. This entitles you to a free NHS winter flu jab. Alternatively, if you find it more convenient, you can get a flu jab at selected Boots stores*
*charges may apply
If you are looking after someone with COPD it can leave you feeling helpless but there are things you can do to help them cope with day-to-day activities. For example:
Being a carer is also likely to leave you needing some support. These organisations can offer some help:
Carers Direct at nhs.uk/carersdirect
Carers Trust at carers.org
Carers UK at carersuk.org
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