QUIZ: Taking Control Of COPD

By MaryAnn DePietro, CRT. May 7th 2016

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a chronic respiratory condition, which may include chronic bronchitis, emphysema or both. Although the condition currently does not have a cure, there are treatments that can reduce symptoms. If you have COPD, there are also several things you can do to reduce exacerbation of symptoms and improve your quality of life. 

Take the quiz below to see how much you know about COPD treatment and rehabilitation. 

1) Once the damage is done, quitting smoking won’t help if you already have COPD.

True or False 

2) How does pulmonary rehabilitation help people with COPD?

a. Classes teach you how to cope with shortness of breath

b. It improves exercise tolerance

c. Provides support

d. All of the above 

3) How do you perform pursed lip breathing?

a. Through pursed lips breathe in and out as fast as you can to get more air in.

b. Purse your lips and inhale and then exhale as hard as possible to force air out.

c. Inhale for a count of three through your nose and exhale slowly with pursed lips for a count of six.

d. Inhale through you nose and then exhale quickly through your mouth. 

4) What should be included in the diet of a person with COPD?

a. Healthy sources of high calorie foods

b. Protein

c. Fruits and vegetables

d. All of the above 

5) If you have COPD, a flu vaccine is not advised.

True or False 

6) Bronchodilators help treat COPD by doing the following:

a. Fighting infection in your lungs

b. Reversing the damage from cigarette smoking

c. Relaxing the muscles in your airways to open them up

d. Decreasing inflammation in the lungs 

7) All the statements below are true of COPD maintenance medication, except the following:

a. It can help prevent exacerbations of COPD.

b. Maintenance medication should be taken at the first sign of wheezing.

c. It needs to be taken as prescribed even if you feel well.

d. Maintenance medications can be taken along with rescue medications.

8) Because people with COPD often deal with shortness of breath, they should avoid exercising.

True or False 


1) False

If you have COPD, quitting smoking is essential to slow the progression of the disease. Smoking won’t reverse the damage done, but it can prevent additional damage to the airways. 

2) d. All of the above

A pulmonary rehabilitation program is beneficial for people with COPD in several ways. A supervised exercise program helps improve exercise tolerance, and many pulmonary rehabilitation programs also have an educational component. Additionally, the other participants with COPD can provide both support and tips on how they deal with the condition.  

3) c. Inhale for a count of three through your nose and exhale slowly through pursed lips for a count of six

Pursed lip breathing is intended to reduce shortness of breath and decrease how hard a person works to breathe. Allowing twice as long for exhalation helps remove carbon dioxide from the lungs, which tends to be retained by people with COPD. 

4) d. All of the above

According to the American Lung Association, people with COPD may burn up to 10 times as many calories as someone without the condition, which increases your calorie needs. A healthy diet with plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables is essential if you have COPD.  

5) False

You should get a flu vaccine if you have COPD. The flu can be worse in people with chronic health problems, such as COPD. Getting a flu shot reduces your chances of further complications from the flu.  

6) c. Relaxing the muscles in your airways to open them up

Bronchodilators work on the smooth muscles of the airway. As the airways relax and open up, breathing often becomes easier.   

7) b. Maintenance medication should be taken at the first sign of wheezing.

Maintenance medications are not fast-acting medications and are not intended to treat a sudden onset of symptoms, such as wheezing. A fast-acting bronchodilator should be used instead.

8) False

People with COPD are typically encouraged to exercise. Although you should always speak to your doctor before starting an exercise program, exercise may help improve lung function, build strength and improve your overall quality of life.  

MaryAnn De Pietro holds a degree in respiratory therapy and is licensed by the state of California as a respiratory therapist. 


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