St. Georg Klinik / Indications / COPD

COPD - CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE

Generally, disorders of the respiratory system are first perceived at exercise: we feel breathless when climbing stairs or walking uphill, we have to pause frequently and can no longer stay ahead with others.

Breathlessness is frequently the first, yet already dramatic symptom of a respiratory disease, notably the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), revealing that the lung has already been damaged. What is particularly serious about it is that the lesion is irreversible, since it cannot be treated with drugs. The good news is, however, that we are able to halt the progression of the lesion and, generally, significantly improve the physical performance despite a permanent impairment of the pulmonary function.

The administration of pharmaceuticals is essential but not sufficient. Usually, a change of the life style is necessary and smoking cessation is crucial. This may not always be easy and sometimes even turn out to be very difficult. Nevertheless, we will give you a helping hand and gently accompany you to go cautiously but resolutely new ways.

Sometimes the lung happens to be damaged to such an extent that it is no longer capable of providing enough oxygen for the organism. In such a case a supplementary oxygen therapy is necessary both at rest and exercise. We will discuss this with you in order to find a treatment to suit your needs and arrange it accordingly.

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Asthma

Asthma is a disorder characterised by a chronic inflammation of the airways causing intermittent attacks of breathing difficulties.

Frequently, but not always, the disease is due to an allergy. It is essential to carry out allergy tests with the aim to find out whether potential allergic responses are likely to cause the asthma.

 

SHORTNESS OF BREATH

Breathlessness, anxiety and panic are phenomena of cognitive psychological processes, which are often intrinsically connected with each other. Breathlessness causes anxiety, but shortness of breath is also a physiological symptom of anxiety. When talking about anxiety we say “It’s cutting off my breathing”. Hence, breathlessness is not always synonym to asthma or COPD. We always strive to sort this out in every single case. Clinical examinations, for example a lung function test, frequently prove to be useless. An empathetic and confidential talk is then a suitable approach to establish a diagnosis.

An unequivocal differentiated diagnosis is essential to carry out a targeted therapy, which frequently involves a precisely defined and quantified drug therapy.

 

Indications

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD of any grade)
  • Allergic and non-allergic bronchial asthma
  • Convalescence after serious infections (pneumonia, pleurisy)
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Other inflammatory diseases and fibrosis (scar tissue) affecting the lung (alveolitis and pulmonary fibrosis)
  • Occupational pulmonary diseases
  • Recovery after lung surgery
  • Cancer (lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma), s.p. oncological treatment

Our clinic provides all necessary diagnostic facilities for examinations to establish a precise diagnosis of the disease and to determine the functional status.

 

Therapy goals

COPD

The primary goal is to prevent further lesions and to significantly improve the physical performance, despite a permanent impairment of the lung function.

Asthma

We strive to help the patient to manage the asthma disease and to reduce the symptoms and impairments, whilst minimising the administration of drugs to the essential dose.

SHORTNESS OF BREATH

Our therapies are aimed at stabilising and improving the respiratory function, enhancing the strength and physical performance and relieving stress and anxiety to enable the patient to regain confidence and enjoy live and the favourite activities.

 

Therapeutic Services

  • Medical examination and verification of previous diagnoses
  • Evaluation of functional impairments
  • Revision of the pharmaceutical therapy and elaboration of a holistic therapy plan
  • Psychological assistance (personal consultation, group discussions, smoking cessation therapy, autogenic training, imagination groups, Yoga, Qi Gong)
  • Sports therapy (medical training therapy, cycle ergometer exercise, Nordic walking, aqua aerobics, guided walks)
  • Therapeutic exercise (individual therapy provided by an experienced and skilled therapist adapted to the disease and disorders)
  • Physical therapy (massages, clay poultices, baths, matrix therapy, electrotherapy, ultrasound therapy)
  • Social consulting (competent consulting concerning labour and welfare law issues, help with administrative steps, suggestion of support initiatives, assistance for reintegration into working life)
  • Nutritional consulting (preparation of special diet dishes and of favourite dishes, recommendations)
  • Additional nutrients and nutrition supplements (individual and group consulting)
  • Instruction in the training kitchen
  • Disease-related training programs for asthma and COPD in compliance with the guidelines of scientific associations