Many people have heard about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), but they know little about it. This lack of knowledge leads many people to believe myths about this disorder, which can be dangerous to people’s health. Keep reading to debunk three of the biggest myths about COPD so that you can maintain a factual understanding of this disorder.

Only Smokers Develop COPD

Unfortunately, many people make the erroneous assumption that only smokers develop COPD. This is based on the knowledge that smoking damages people’s lungs, leaving them more susceptible to pulmonary diseases. While smoking can make increase the likelihood that someone will develop a lung disease, smoking is not the only cause of COPD. Environmental exposure to different types of smoke, including cigarettes and burning fuel, as well as genetic factors, deficiencies, and a history of infections can all lead someone to develop COPD.

COPD Only Affects the Lungs

The P and D in COPD stand for pulmonary disorder, and the pulmonary system is just another word for the respiratory system. The main organ of the respiratory system is the lungs, which is why so many people assume that COPD only affects the lungs. However, COPD specifically affects the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen, which affects the circulation of blood throughout the body, so COPD affects more than the lungs.

Poor blood oxygenation can especially affect the heart, which is why people who have COPD are also at a greater risk of developing heart disease. This disorder can also affect mental health since some of the treatments, such as supplemental oxygen, can change how people participate in their lives. When people struggle with these changes, they can experience depression and other mental health problems. COPD affects much more of the body than just the lungs.

Oxygen Therapy Is the Only Treatment Option

Some people assume that there is either no treatment for COPD or that oxygen therapy is the only option. This myth is based on the erroneous belief that COPD only affects the lungs. Since COPD can affect the entire body, there are various treatments available. Supplemental oxygen is a common treatment since it helps maintain healthy blood oxygenation levels, but diet and exercise changes are also treatments that physicians may prescribe. Inhalers and other forms of oral medication are also options for some people experiencing COPD and related symptoms.

Three of the biggest myths about COPD are that only smokers develop it, it only affects the lungs, and the only available treatment is oxygen therapy. These myths aren’t true, and we hope you have a better understanding of this disorder now that we’ve debunked them. If you or a loved one has COPD and needs home oxygen equipment, Bridge to Care can help. Our equipment is affordable, reliable, and high quality and will help you breathe easier on a budget.