About COPD

(Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)




What is COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is when the breathing passages (airways) in the lungs are obstructed and the lung tissue has been damaged. This causes difficulty in breathing. The early stages of COPD are often unrecognised, but it can be very easy to determine whether a person is at risk. COPD is a progressive lung condition that cannot be reversed but the rate of progression can be slowed and quality of life can be improved by appropriate management of the disease.

Early detection of COPD is important and can help to prevent further deterioration of lung function.

Could you have COPD?

  • Do you cough several times most days?
  • Do you bring up phlegm or mucous most days?
  • Do you get out of breathe more easily than others your age?
  • Are you older than 40 years?
  • Are you a current or ex smoker?

If you answer yes to three or more of these questions you could have COPD. Contact your doctor or Practice Nurse to discuss or arrange an assessment for COPD.

How we can help you

Being well informed about COPD can help a person manage the condition and have a better quality of life. CanBreathe have Respiratory Nurse Educators who provide free individual consultations and education to help you understand more about COPD and what you can do to manage the condition and have a good quality of life.

Appointments can be at our clinic or in your home. Contact us now to arrange an appointment.

Other COPD supports available

COPD is a common respiratory condition that affects over 200,000 people in New Zealand. There are a range of COPD support options available in the community.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

This is a free eight week course that provides individuals with the necessary understanding and skills to manage their COPD. These programs are provided by health professionals and consist of exercise training and information sessions to assist patients to understand their lung condition and help improve their quality of life.

Ask your doctor about being referred to a Pulmonary Rehabilitation or contact us for more information.

Exercise and Support Groups

Maintaining physical activity is an important part of COPD management and there are COPD specific exercise and support group options in and around Christchurch, Rangiora and Ashburton.

Contact us for more information on these or go to www.healthinfo.co.nz and put support for breathing problems in the search box.

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Help us support people living with respiratory conditions