COPD: Don’t Treat Your Flu, Prevent It
No one enjoys dealing with the aches, pains and fever that typically come along with the flu. Even if you’re a relatively healthy person, the flu can put you down for the count. But, if you have a condition like COPD, having the flu can literally make you lose your breath.
Not only are people with COPD more susceptible to the flu than the average person, the two forms of COPD – chronic bronchitis and emphysema – cause lung abnormalities that make it harder for them to fight off the flu. According to Brian Carlin, MD, past chairman of the COPD Alliance, people with COPD have increased risk for serious flu-related complications, like bacterial pneumonia, hospitalization and shortness of breath.
If you have COPD, the best way to treat the flu is to actually prevent catching it in the first place. Take these extra precautions to stay flu-free this season.
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Get a flu shot.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a flu shot for everyone age six months and older. In addition to getting one from your doctor’s office, many chain drugstores and retailers also provide inexpensive flu shots.