Eye Care Resources | Fidelis Care

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) damages lung tissue, making breathing difficult. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, and mucus discharge. Smoking is a common cause of COPD.


Note:   To diagnose COPD, your doctor will evaluate your symptoms, ask for your complete health history, conduct a health exam and review test results. If you are diagnosed with COPD, take your medications as prescribed to manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.

Testing to Confirm COPD

Diagnosing COPD properly is the first step toward treatment. If your primary care provider (PCP) suspects you may have COPD, your PCP may recommend one of the following:

Measures how well lungs function by having patients blow into a machine.
Arterial Blood Gas Analysis
Measures oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood through a blood test.
Chest X-ray
Helps a PCP detect diseases that may lead to or worsen COPD.
CT scan
Helps detect COPD and find out whether surgery is necessary



Living with COPD

Many people living with COPD continue to have a good quality of life.
The American Lung Association says a healthy diet can help. The dropdown below outlines these nutritional recommendations.

Choose Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates include whole-grain bread and pasta, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Limit simple carbohydrates, including table sugar, candy, cake and regular soft drinks.

Choose High-Quality Sources of Protein

Eat a good source of protein at least twice a day to help preserve strong respiratory muscles.  Suggested choices include milk, eggs, cheese, meat, fish, poultry, nuts and dried beans or peas.

Limit processed meats, including hot dogs, bacon, sausage and bologna. 

Choose Mono- and Poly-unsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats do not contain cholesterol. They are often liquid at room temperature and come from plant sources, such as canola, safflower, corn oils and avocados.

Limit foods that contain trans fats and saturated fat. For example, butter, lard, fat and skin from meat, hydrogenated vegetable oils, shortening, fried foods, cookies, crackers and pastries.


Note:   These are general nutritional guidelines for people living with COPD. Talk to your doctor before you make changes to your diet.



Additional COPD Resources

Fidelis Care Clinical Services

If you need help managing your COPD, or want to learn more about COPD contact our Clinical Services Dept at 1-800-247-1441.
8:30 AM - 5 PM, Monday – Friday


COPD National Action Plan

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated with the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies to develop the COPD National Action Plan — a patient-centered road map for addressing COPD, one of the most urgent health concerns facing Americans. The plan reflects input from many members of the COPD community, including patients, caregivers, health care providers, and nonprofit organizations.


Lung HelpLine

The Lung HelpLine is a resource offered by the American Lung Association, open seven days a week and is staffed by experienced registered nurses, respiratory therapists and certified tobacco treatment specialists. They are readily available to provide you with any additional support you may need.


Living with COPD Online Community

Connect with others, share experiences and learn from friends in this free online forum for people facing lung disease. Another program sponsored by the American Lung Association, this virtual group provides a safe support network, giving you a place to chat with peers about how COPD is affecting you.


external icon