Bilbrook Medical Centre

Living with COPD

The best treatment for COPD is quitting smoking.

It can be incredibly tough to quit, but doing so using support is proven to help. Be kind to yourself and don’t dwell on past attempts to quit. Use the following link to find your local support service

Getting your vaccinations

The flu jab helps save hundred of lives every year. Having COPD puts you more at risk of having severe flu so getting your jab each year is vital. You should also have a one-off vaccination against pneumonia, which you only need to have once.

Eating well and keeping a healthy weight

If we’re overweight, it can make breathing more difficult. On the other hand being underweight can mean that our breathing muscles get weaker too.

Eating a varied diet helps to provide the calories, vitamins and minerals that help fight off chest infections, maintain muscles and give your breathing muscles the energy they need.

You can find more information at Eat well


It can seem odd to suggest exercising when someone feels breathless but exercise helps to maintain the strength of our breathing muscles and the muscles in our body that support them as well as providing lots of other emotional, mental and physical benefits.

Try to exercise every day and don’t forget that every minute of exercise will be of benefit to you. Try to do exercise that helps to maintain your muscles, co-ordination and circulation. More information can be found here

You may find the following programme, designed for people living with breathing conditions helpful: BLF exercise programme

If your breathing is limiting your activities (MRC scale 3,4 or 5- see below), you will be offered Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR). This is a supervised programme of exercise which we can refer you to- ask us about this if you’re unsure.

Managing breathlessness

Feeling breathless can be worrying and the feeling of breathlessness can be made worse if we’re worried or the way we breathe changes. Take a look at this really useful resource from the British Lung Foundation which explains a little more about what happens. There are some positions that may suit you more if you feel breathless due to COPD.

Some people often find singing a good way of exercising breathing muscles as well as socialising. There is a local group in Wolverhampton- you can find more information here

You may also find that living with a long term condition makes you feel low or anxious and that managing your health is more difficult when you feel this way. If you feel that you may benefit from some help, do get in touch.

Using your inhalers

Your GP or nurse will help to find the right inhalers for you. It is vital that you take these as prescribed and as recorded in your self management plan.

If you’re having any trouble using your inhalers or you think that they don’t suit you, do raise this at your annual review.

In Summary:

  • Try to quit smoking
  • Have the flu jab
  • Try to eat healthily and keep a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep breathing control in mind
  • Make sure you’re using your inhalers as intended

Date published: 7th June, 2021
Date last updated: 7th June, 2021