The fu vaccine helps prevent the fu and lessens
your symptoms if you do get it. The CDC
recommends that everyone ages 6 months and
older get a fu shot.
Also, anyone older than age 65 should get a one
time pneumonia vaccine. People with COPD and
certain other chronic conditions should also get the
vaccine. It protects against a bacteria that can cause
Get Your Flu Shot This Fall
Testing Right for Me?
If you have problems with shortness of breath,
your doctor may conduct spirometry testing.
Spirometry testing measures howwell your
lungs work. The test uses a machine called a
spirometer. Your doctor will tell you to inhale
deeply and then breathe out as hard as you
can into a mouthpiece attached to the
spirometer. The spirometer measures how
much and how fast you can breathe air out of
This information might show that you have
a blockage in your lungs. This may be a sign
of asthma or COPD. The test could also show
that you have smaller than normal lungs.
This may mean that you have heart failure or
scarring of the lung tissue called pulmonary
Why should you get tested? In some cases,
spirometry can detect problems before
symptoms worsen. This way, you can take
steps to manage the condition — like
quitting smoking and taking medications
— to help you feel better and live longer.
Home from the Hospital
If you’ve been in the hospital for COPD recently,
you may have questions about how to care for
yourself now that you’re back at home. These
three steps can help prevent another fare-up.
1. Manage your medications.
Take all of your COPD medications to keep
your lungs working well. Before you leave
the hospital, your doctor should explain
how and when to take each one. If you get
home and are confused or don’t know how
to take your medication, call your doctor.
2. Avoid getting sick.
Infections and lung irritants can trigger
COPD fare-ups. So:
Stay up-to-date with fu and pneumonia
Wash your hands often.
Avoid cigarette smoke and dust.
3. Improve your breathing.
Your doctor may recommend pulmonary
rehabilitation. These programs teach you to
manage your COPD at home. You’ll do
special exercises to help you avoid getting
breathless during daily activities.