Many people with chronic illness know how crucial it is to stay on top of the newest developments on what they've been diagnosed with. How else would you know about the last and best in medications? Or if experts just found out that the medication you've been taking might be harmful to you? How else will you know if they are getting close to coming up with a new treatment that may solve your problems?
You might be thinking that all you need to do is watch the news if you want to stay informed on any new developments, but it's true that the local and even the world news doesn't cover everything, especially not everything having to do with specific chronic diseases. You might hear about the bird flu, but you probably won't hear a thing about that new inhaler.
Reading Up On COPD
We do cover as much news on COPD and oxygen therapy as we can on our website, but there are many other things you can be reading to keep you up to date on COPD and oxygen therapy. Some of these news sources can be accessed for free, while others are periodicals that you will have to pay to subscribe to.
COPD Foundation, http://www.copdfoundation.org – This website has many resources, including a blog that covers events, news and a question and answer column that answers questions from readers. They also offer reading material to help inform patients or loved ones of patients about COPD.
COPD International, http://www.copd-international.com/library/readingroom.htm – They provide a simple feed of COPD news from around the world. They also hold webinars (web seminars), offer resource material and a chat room, where you can talk to others who have COPD.
Boehringer Ingelheim, http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/news/news_topics/copd-news.html – A great source for medical news in general.
National Institutes of Health COPD Press Room, http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/lung/copd/press-room/ - Here, you can find news on events and everything else medical related and linked to COPD.
COPD Canada, http://www.copdcanada.ca/copd_in_the_news.htm – Updated each week with all the latest news from Canada on COPD research.
EFFORTS, http://www.emphysema.net – Offers information and a support group for people with emphysema. EFFORTS stands for Emphysema Foundation For Our Rights To Survive.
COPD Support Inc., http://www.copd-support.com/ - Provides information and support programs for people with COPD and their loved ones.
COPD Coalition, http://www.uscopdcoalition.org/ - They provide resources on events like Drive 4 COPD.
Magazines and Newsletters
COPD Digest, http://www.copddigest.org/ - This is a completely free publication for COPD patients. They also have a blog on their website.
Pulmonary Paper, https://www.pulmonarypaper.org/subscribe.html – This is a paid subscription for becoming a member. This newsletter is delivered to your home. Be sure to sign up as an individual and not a health professional.
American Thoracic Society Journal, http://www.atsjournals.org/ - These are monthly and they answer common questions that people usually have involving their COPD.
How to Find Others with COPD
If you suffer from COPD it can be helpful to share your story and experiences, ask questions and support others. You may need someone to lean on and confide in who understands what you're going through. Your friends and family might do the best they can, but it's still beneficial to be able to talk to someone who knows first hand what it's like to have COPD. This is also helpful because if you have friends who have COPD, they will likely have useful information they can share with you. You might be able to find a better doctor or get a reference to a great respiratory therapist or learn of some foods and vitamins that are best for people COPD.
First, you can try going online to one of the biggest social networks on earth: Facebook. Facebook hosts “groups” from all walks of life, so of course, there would be a public page for those with this chronic disease. There is one called COPD Friends for Friends: https://www.facebook.com/pages/COPD-Friends-for-Friends/110451268982117, as well as a page for the COPD Foundation. All you need to do to search for a group on Facebook is type it in the search bar at the very top of the website. If you don't have a Facebook account, you will have to create one before you can join the group and talk to people in the comments.
Another great way to find people and information is on another huge social website – Twitter. Again, all you need to do is type “COPD” or anything else in the search bar at the top and hit “Enter” on your keyboard. This will bring up a list of “Tweets” (140-character updates from Twitter users) so long, that you may never get to read them all. That's okay, look around and read what others have written, and if you have something to say to them, hover over the tweet and click on the link that says “Reply.” You will also need an account to interact with people on this site.
You can also search for COPD patient forums on the internet with a search engine, like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. One COPD forum can be found on ProactiveCOPD.com.
Having online friends can be tough, however, because they will most likely live far away from you. You can try looking for other people who have COPD in your area by going to a local meeting site, such as MeetUp.com.
You will need to make an account, just as with the other sites, and enter in your location (not your address, just your city), so you can search for any COPD group meetups in your area. If there aren't any COPD meetups in your area, there might be one in the future, in which case you can sign up to receive an email to let you know when there is one. You can also take the initiative to start one in your area. You will then be able to meet people in your general area who you can talk to in person.
Information on this page is for reference and educational purposes only. For more information about COPD, talk to your doctor or primary care provider.