COPD (Pulmonary Disease)
The numbers are staggering. An estimated 16 million Americans have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and millions more are suffering from undiagnosed symptoms of the disease that are not being treated.
What is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, commonly referred to as COPD, actually refers to more than one disease. It is a group of diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis that are known to cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems.
Those exposed to air pollutants in the home or workplace may be at an increased risk of developing COPD. Genetic factors or a history of respiratory infections may also increase your risk.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of COPD include:
- Frequent coughing that may include wheezing
- Coughing up an excess of phlegm or mucus
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty taking a deep breath
- Blue lips or fingernails
- Chronic or frequent fatigue
How is COPD diagnosed?
COPD is easily diagnosed with a simple in-office test called spirometry. The test measures how much air you inhale, how much you exhale, and how quickly you exhale it to determine how well your lungs work. A spirometry test can also be used to diagnose other breathing conditions including asthma [link to asthma content page].
Treatment for COPD
Unfortunately, there is no cure for COPD at this time. But, it can certainly be treated and managed to help restore your quality of life.
I am a pulmonary specialist experienced in treating a variety of lung diseases and breathing-related issues. If you have shortness of breath or any of the other symptoms above, schedule an appointment today.