1) Check how well controlled your COPD is:
Every 6-12 months, try to spare some time to think about how your breathing is and has been. You can do this by using the following questionnaires:
If your COPD is gradually getting worse, it is always wise to ask yourself:
- Am I smoking? Is it time to give quitting another go?
- Am I keeping a healthy weight? Am I eating a good variety of healthy foods?
- Am I exercising regularly?
- Do I know breathing control exercises and am I putting them into practice?
- Am I using my inhalers as prescribed and is my technique correct?
It is always important to speak to us if you’re:
- Losing weight without intending to
- Coughing up blood
- Becoming more breathless and do not know why
In an emergency however, call 999.
2) Check that you’re using your inhalers correctly
If you’re using inhalers, it’s vital that they’re being used correctly. And if you’ve been using them for years, it can still be useful to check your technique. Spend a few minutes watching the following videos for some helpful tips, or ask one of our nursing team for further guidance:
3) Check that you have an up-to-date Self Management Plan
Tackling COPD and treating flare ups can sometimes seem confusing. Our self management plan will help you see at a glance, what you should be doing, when.
You can download it: here
If you’re unable to download or print it, please let reception know by calling 01902 847313 and we’ll print a copy for you that can be collected from the medical centre.
4) Have your COPD annual review
Once a year we want to hear from you to monitor your COPD and address any issues you may have identified. This will usually be during your month of birth, when we’ll be monitoring any other long term conditions that you may be living with.
We recognise that there can be a lot to discuss and it’s sometimes difficult to recall everything that is said during appointments so we may ask you to provide some information beforehand. This may be via text message (SMS) but we are happy to provide printed copies if this is more accessible for you.
You can check how you’re doing, using our annual checklist.