Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. It makes it difficult to breathe. COPD occurs most frequently in current and former smokers. Persons with COPD must stop smoking to slow down the damage to their lungs. Other contributing factors for COPD may include prolonged exposure to certain gases or fumes in the workplace, or exposure to heavy amounts of secondhand smoke and pollution. The two main forms of COPD are chronic bronchitis, which is characterized by a long term cough with mucous; and, emphysema, involving destruction of the lungs over time. Even though there is no cure for COPD there are available treatments that improve the capacity to perform daily activities and the overall quality of life for those with the disease. Sta-Home nurses can work with your doctor to incorporate appropriate medication management and education, diet instruction, breathing techniques and exercises to help alleviate symptoms and slow disease progression. Sta-Home’s rehabilitation team (therapist) can teach patients different breathing techniques and exercises to help maintain muscle strength. Visit our online health library to get more information on COPD, its treatment and symptom management.