James M. Ferguson, MD

What can I do on my own? Holding a deep breath prior to coughing or using a handheld mucus clearance device can be beneficial. Also, using diaphragmatic breathing and pursed lip breathing, can help you move air in and out and reduce shortness of breath.

Finally, one of the best ways to manage COPD is to maintain good health. The importance of smoking cessation and maintaining a healthy weight cannot be overemphasized. The best COPD medications and practices that science has to offer will be set up to fail if you are not taking good care of yourself.

James M. Ferguson, MD is a board-certified pulmonologist specializing in critical care at Newport Hospital. He specializes in the treatment of ailments of the lung and respiratory system and is an associate clinical professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Newport Hospital provides this monthly column for The Daily News.