Retired Respiratory Therapist, Chateauguay, Quebec
Excess mucus and breathing difficulties mean COPD patients struggle with daily activities — but a specific device can make their lives better.
A common lung disease affecting typically people 35 years of age and over, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fifth leading cause of death in Canada — and the third leading cause worldwide. Restricted airflow and excess mucus are common in people with COPD, resulting in breathing issues, cough often with mucus, wheezing and tiredness. Tobacco use, exposure to second-hand smoke and air pollution exacerbate the symptoms, and people with COPD are more vulnerable to additional health challenges, such as lung infections like the flu or pneumonia. While the disease is not curable, quality of life can be improved according to Jocelyn Vachon, a retired Chateauguay, Quebec-based respiratory therapist who has helped manage patients for decades, including his mother-in-law’s COPD since it was officially diagnosed.
With more than a decade of experience in emergency departments and intensive care wards, Vachon had seen his fair share of respiratory issues. This, combined with teaching respiratory therapy at Collège de Rosemont in Montreal for 20 years, meant that Vachon was the perfect person to teach Mrs. Pitre how to improve her quality of life with COPD.
Improving quality of life
When Vachon met his mother-in-law in 1990, she was a heavy smoker with a wet cough. While Mrs. Pitre stopped smoking for many years, she took it up again in 2018, triggering an attack in 2019 that led to a hospitalization — and to an official COPD diagnosis. She left the hospital with oral corticotherapy and inhalers — and considerable anxiety about her future. Almost immediately, Vachon purchased an Aerobika* device for her, which is designed to help open airways, clear excess mucus, and improve breathing. “Aerobika* was an obvious solution for her — and something I knew well from my years as a practitioner.”
The Aerobika* device is an important part of disease management — and COPD patients with excess mucus should ask their doctor or respiratory therapist about using one or learn about it online.
Vachon explains that using the Aerobika* device two to three times a day for 10 minutes at a time — with breaks if necessary — has made all the difference. “Since she has been using the Aerobika*, my mother-in-law has not returned to an emergency room — and she is more active, despite her older age. It’s as if the disease has slowed down,” Vachon explains.
Taking charge of COPD
He also emphasizes that early diagnosis is key. “Had her COPD been diagnosed earlier, the disease could have been managed more strategically.” Here, Vachon refers to taking charge of disease management through non-pharmacological treatments such as airway clearance devices, smoking cessation programs, nutritional health, re-education about smog, understanding available resources, in addition to medication options. “The Aerobika* device is an important part of disease management — and COPD patients with excess mucus should ask their doctor or respiratory therapist about using one or learn about it online,” he adds.
To learn more, visit trudellmed.com. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have any questions.
The Aerobika* device is available in pharmacies across Canada. Many private insurance plans will cover the device.
The Aerobika* device is designed and developed in Canada.