Living with COPD? How to Maximize Your Summer Experience

By: Amber Emerson and Kristen Gurnea

June 15, 2023

Woman With Chronic Asthma Hiking in Desert

June offers an official welcome to summer and the height of outdoor activities in northern Nevada such as hiking, camping, days spent at the lake and embracing long days and warm evenings with friends and family.

Enjoying all that the summer season has to offer may not be as easy for those living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which effects more than 15 million Americans.

What is COPD?

COPD is a group of lung diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis that result in airflow blockages from the lungs. People may experience frequent coughing and shortness of breath among other symptoms. COPD typically impacts adults ages 65 and older and is becoming increasingly more common among women.

Although smoking plays a key role in the development of COPD, air pollution and indoor air quality, and respiratory infection also contribute to disease development. While there is no cure for COPD, limiting progression of disease and managing symptoms can be achieved through lifestyle changes, therapy, and medications.

Tips for Living with COPD This Summer, and Always

  1. Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated is extremely important for people with COPD, especially during the summer. Not drinking enough water can make breathing more difficult because it increases respiratory symptoms. Make sure to always keep a water bottle with you and aim to drink 8-10 glasses of water daily.
  2. Be Mindful of Temperature: COPD symptoms can be exacerbated by hot weather. It is best to participate in outdoor activities during the cooler times of day, like the morning or evening.
  3. Check Air Quality Before You Go: Before engaging in outdoor activities, be sure to check the air quality index and plan your activities accordingly.
  4. Pace Yourself: Exercising can be difficult for people who have COPD. To make the most of your summer, try not to push yourself too hard and take breaks when you need them. If you start to feel out of breath or tired, take a break in a cool, shaded area until you feel better.

Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

To address the needs of community members living with COPD, the Renown Health Research Office has teamed up with Pulmonary Medicine to provide patients who are former or current smokers and have a history of frequent exacerbations with an option to participate in the ARNASA study.

"COPD exacerbations have a huge negative impact on patient’s lung function” states Dr. Farah Madhani-Lovely, Chief of Pulmonary Medicine at Renown Health and Assistant Dean of Clinical Research at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. “We have had inhalers and prednisone for decades but patients are still having exacerbations. Now we have a new pathway we think will prevent exacerbations which is what this clinical trial is designed to prove.”

This study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of astegolimab compared with placebo in participants 40-80 years of age with COPD.

“This study in particular is so exciting because of the enthusiasm from the sponsor’s end” says Katie Buckley, Lead Clinical Research Coordinator working on pulmonology studies at Renown’s Clinical Research Office. “Often times sites aren’t assigned particularly passionate or engaged personnel who aid in carrying out these studies, but you can tell Roche Genentech’s team truly cares about the success of the study, the safety of their participants, and proving the efficacy of the investigational agent. Working on a study like this takes a village, and when the individuals on all ends share similar mindsets and work towards success as a collective unit instead of as individual moving parts, it’s amazing to see everything we’re able to accomplish.”

Renown’s team of expert pulmonologists and researchers are available to join patients with COPD in support of their healthcare journey. If you are interested in learning more about this clinical trial option at Renown Health, talk to your pulmonologist at your next appointment or contact us at 775-982-3646.

At Renown Health, our goal is to make it easy for patients to access clinical research as a care opportunity where patients can access a variety of standard care treatment options for their health condition or choose to participate in a clinical trial. For more information about clinical trial opportunities available to you or to ask any questions, contact the Renown Research Office at or 775-982-3646.

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