COPD stands for “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”
COPD is a broad category of chronic, or long-term, progressive diseases that cause some form of restriction or blockage of airflow. COPD includes diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, some forms of bronchiectasis and others. People with COPD are more likely to have difficulty climbing the stairs or walking for longer periods of time. They may also require the use of portable oxygen tanks or other medications to ease the symptoms of COPD.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), primary COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, where an estimated 15.7 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD. Smoking, exposure to certain toxins in the workplace and home and indoor air quality can all contribute to the breathing problems associated to COPD.
Many people are unaware that they have some form of COPD, especially in the early stages, since symptoms may be very mild. Shortness of breath may not become obvious until COPD has become quite advanced. Early screening, detection and treatment can help prevent major loss of lung functionality. This is why you should promptly report symptoms of COPD to your doctor.
Symptoms of COPD
· Shortness of breath
· Increased breathlessness with activity
· A feeling of tightness in the chest
· A chronic cough
COPD is more common in people over the age of 65, however it can develop at any life stage. People who currently smoke or who have had a history of smoking are at a much higher risk for developing COPD. People with a history of asthma or who worked in certain environments and had long-term exposure to airborne toxins may also be at risk for developing COPD. There may also be genetic factors that pre-dispose some individuals to COPD, so it’s always good to be mindful of family history.
Treatment for COPD
There are a variety of treatments that can help manage COPD. Patients who smoke are strongly advised to stop immediately. Your doctor can also explain how to avoid known triggers such as pollution and allergens.
You may be referred to a lung specialist, or pulmonologist, for testing, diagnosis and ongoing treatment. Your doctor can prescribe medications including special inhalers, medical oxygen therapy or certain lung exercises to help you reduce the symptoms of COPD.
COPD can be managed with medications, a healthy lifestyle and good self-care habits. If you or a loved one is suffering from COPD or related conditions such as sleep apnea, or to find out more about Dr. Oseni, a certified pulmonologist and sleep specialist, please call (817) 549-9993 today. You can also contact us online at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.