COPD

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COPD

Cigarette smoking

is the leading cause

                  of COPD.

SYMPTOMS

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is an umbrella term that includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or a combination of both lung conditions.

 

COPD makes it difficult for those who have the condition to empty air from their lungs, causing difficulty breathing.

Chronic Bronchitis

• Coughing, wheezing, and chest discomfort

• Cough that produces mucus or phlegm on most days

Emphysema

• Shortness of breath and wheezing

• Persistent cough and chest discomfort

Helpful Links:

American Thoracic Society
 

ATS Patient Advisory Roundtable
 

National Heart Lung & Blood Institute
 

American Lung Association

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What causes COPD?


There are many causes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. However, the most common cause of COPD is cigarette smoke. Genetics and environmental factors such as chemicals, certain dusts, and indoor or outdoor pollution may also be a cause of COPD. It is not fully understood why some smokers never develop COPD, while others do.




Will COPD ever go away?


Though symptoms of COPD may go away from time to time, it is a lifelong disease. If you have been diagnosed with COPD you can still live a fulfilling life. Shortness of breath and fatigue may never go away entirely, however, COPD symptoms can be improved with regular medication and quitting smoking. Patients with COPD can learn to manage their condition and further improve their symptoms by attending pulmonary rehabilitation.




How is COPD treated?


The first thing you can do if you are a smoker who has been diagnosed with COPD is to stop smoking. Bronchodilators, a type of medication, are usually prescribed to widen the airways. Anti-inflammatory medication is used to reduce swelling in the airways, and antibiotics are used to treat infection. COPD can cause the oxygen level in the bloodstream to be low. If this occurs supplemental oxygen will be prescribed as well.





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