Maiden Lane Medical
Multi-Specialty Group Practice located New York, NY
Do you feel like you are being plagued by chronic coughing or shortness of breath? If so, our Maiden Lane Medical multi-specialty healthcare team located in Manhattan, NY can help!
For a personalized consultation that can start your recovery journey, call us or book an appointment online today!
What Is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common, long-term condition that causes inflammation in your lungs. It causes obstructive airflow from your lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Two of the main conditions that often cause COPD to develop are:
- Chronic bronchitis
Those who have COPD often have both conditions. While asthma and COPD have similar symptoms, they are different. However, it is possible to have both of these conditions simultaneously.
The primary cause of COPD in the United States is smoking. If your lungs are affected by conditions like chronic bronchitis or emphysema, which has a high rate of developing among smokers, you’re at higher risk of developing this condition.
Your risk also increases if you’re exposed to tobacco smoke (secondhand tobacco smoke). Additionally, whether you are at home or work, the following environmental irritants can also increase your risk of developing this condition:
- Air pollution
Symptoms tend to become evident in most people after the age of 40. This condition can also be caused if you have a genetic susceptibility, such as an alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. This inherited disorder can lead to emphysema and accounts for about one percent of COPD cases.
Some of the most common symptoms of COPD include:
- Chronic coughing
- Tightness in your chest
- Excess mucus in your lungs
- Wheezing during physical activity
- Swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet
- Shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing
Additional signs of COPD can include:
- Lack of energy
- Consistent respiratory issues or infections
- Blueness in your lips or your fingernail beds
- Unexplained/unintended weight loss (in the later stages)
- Feeling the need to clear your throat first thing in the morning
You may not experience any severe signs until COPD has already caused significant inflammation and damage to your lungs.
Symptoms usually worsen gradually, making daily activities increasingly difficult. This is especially the case if you continue to smoke or if your smoking exposure continues.
How Is COPD Treated?
Although COPD is a progressive disease, the right treatment plan can help make your condition more manageable and reduce the inflammation within your lungs.
Some common treatments for COPD include:
- Cease smoking—This is a vital step in changing the course of your condition. Doing so can prevent a further decline in the functionality of your lungs.
- Medication—There are several different types of medicine that you can take to make breathing easier and reduce the inflammation within your lungs.
- Oxygen therapy—Your doctor may recommend supplemental oxygen to help repair and replenish your lungs so that you can stay well.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation—Pulmonary rehabilitation focuses on education, exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes that can help improve your situation.
To help expedite your recovery, you can try to:
- Perform deep breathing exercises
- Avoid environmental or chemical irritants
- Eat healthy foods to support and improve your overall well-being
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How Is COPD Diagnosed?
To make an accurate diagnosis, your doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical exam. They may also run a series of diagnostic tests to determine the severity of your condition and decide which treatment methods might be the most effective for your specific needs. Once the diagnosis is made, your treatment protocol will then be created.
Which Doctor Specializes in Treating COPD?
Pulmonologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating those with lung conditions such as COPD, asthma, and pulmonary fibrosis. Some pulmonologists have chosen to specialize in sleep medicine as well.
Many new patients diagnosed with COPD appreciate that their pulmonologist can coordinate care with other healthcare professionals, such as respiratory therapists. Your doctor can also recommend local support groups for you to join so that you can see how others are successfully coping with this condition.
If you think you may have COPD, contact Maiden Lane Medical by calling or booking a consultation online today! Our doctors in New York look forward to helping you.
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