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Beyond Breathing: Addressing Anxiety in COPD Patients for Improved Quality of Life

ByEditor

Feb 13, 2024
Temple Health strives to help COPD patients break the cycle of anxiety often experienced.

Chronic illnesses, such as COPD, can cause anxiety in individuals as they struggle with breathing difficulties. The condition affects 16 million Americans and can worsen over time, leading to a vicious cycle of breathlessness and anxiety. This can have a significant impact on the treatment and outcomes for COPD patients, with studies showing that individuals with COPD have over 1.5 times the rate of anxiety and depression compared to those without the condition.

Despite this, emotional health is often overlooked in the physical treatment of COPD patients. Dr. Victor Kim, a pulmonologist at Temple Health, emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and addressing anxiety in COPD patients. He suggests coping strategies, education on breathing techniques, and different maneuvers to improve breathing during episodes of shortness of breath. Additionally, joining a support group can provide a sense of community for COPD patients and a platform for learning and sharing strategies for managing their disease.

It’s important for COPD patients to recognize that their anxiety is not just a figment of their imagination but rather a real concern that needs to be addressed. Seeking support from healthcare professionals can help them manage their symptoms effectively and improve their overall quality of life. By taking proactive steps towards managing their disease, COPD patients can reduce anxiety levels and enhance their overall well-being.

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