Bronson Battle Creek Offering Chronic Lung Disease Series - Bronson Healthcare

Published on February 14, 2014

Karen Manney

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sometimes referred to as COPD, is a serious lung condition that, over time, makes it difficult for people with it to breathe.

To help increase awareness of COPD, Bronson Battle Creek (BBC) is again offering a chronic lung disease series, scheduled quarterly on Tuesday afternoons from 2-3:30. The first meeting on March 4 is titled ‘Understanding Insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, and Disability.’ Participants will learn about insurance, senior services, and what support is available to them. Karen Manney, Region 3B Area on Aging marketing and outreach coordinator will be the speaker.

The COPD sessions will be held in the hospital’s second floor Outpatient Conference Rooms A & B. Please use the Emmett Street entrance and park in Lot #4.

To register for this program, call (800) 451-6310. Seating is limited. For more information, call Deborah Pierce, RRT of the pulmonary rehabilitation department at (269) 245-8438.

“COPD is a very serious lung condition that makes breathing much more difficult, and one of the leading causes of death in the United States,” says Pierce, a pulmonary rehabilitation specialist at BBC.  “But if you work with your physician and respiratory therapists to make some lifestyle changes, you can manage COPD, and your symptoms can often be improved.”

The term COPD is used to describe two related lung disorders--chronic bronchitis and emphysema.  If you have COPD, you have one or both of these conditions.  With bronchitis, the walls of the passages that carry air to your lungs become swollen and scarred.  Emphysema destroys the sacs in the lungs that release air.

COPD makes it more difficult to breathe because your air passages get smaller and your air sacs cannot empty.  Your airways may also become clogged with mucus, which comes up when you cough.

Living well with COPD
Although there is no known cure for COPD, there are several things you can do to manage it and improve your quality of life.  Early detection of the disease is important; it lets you begin to take steps to keep COPD from progressing.

To help manage the disease:

  • Stop smoking. No matter how old you are, it is crucial that you give up cigarettes. Even if you are 75, stopping smoking will help you feel better.
  • Follow your doctor's advice about medications. You may be given bronchodilators to help open airways, corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in lungs and airways, or antibiotics to fight bacterial infections that make COPD worse.
  • Talk to your physician about whether using an oxygen tank might help you breathe better.
  • Make certain the air in your home is clean and free of smoke and fumes.
  • Ask your doctor about breathing exercises that can help you when you are having trouble catching your breath.
  • Eat healthful foods, maintain a healthful weight, and stay as physically active as you can.

The second program in this series, to be held on June 3, is titled ‘Easy Chair Yoga and Relaxation.’  The third meeting on September 23, is ‘Medication Update,’ and the final program is scheduled for November 4, titled ‘Understanding Your Health Care Provider Appointments.’  All of the programs are free to the public, but reservations are required because seating is limited.

To learn more about the Bronson Battle Creek pulmonary program, call (269) 245-8438; or visit the hospital Website at