Signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often don’t occur until lung damage is already done. If you have a chronic cough, shortness of breath, or wheezing, contact Maiden Lane Medical, New York. You can find relief from your symptoms and regain your health. To get started with a personalized consultation, call the practice or book an appointment online today.
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a condition that causes inflammation of the lungs. It often develops as the result of emphysema or chronic bronchitis.
People with COPD usually have difficulty breathing, a chronic cough, or excess mucus in the lungs. COPD is treatable, and most patients can find relief from their symptoms with the right medical care.
What are the symptoms of COPD?
You may not experience any severe symptoms until COPD has already caused significant inflammation in the lungs. Symptoms usually worsen gradually, especially if a person smokes. Some of the most common signs of COPD include:
- Chronic coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing during physical activity
- Blueness in the lips or beds of the fingernails
- Consistent respiratory problems or infections
COPD can also cause the need to clear your throat first thing in the morning, unexplained weight loss, or swelling in the legs and feet.
What causes COPD?
For people that live in the US, the primary cause of COPD is smoking. When the lungs are affected by conditions like bronchitis or emphysema — which can develop in smokers — you’re more likely to develop COPD.
Your risk of COPD also increases if you’re exposed to tobacco smoke or other environmental irritants, like chemicals, fumes, or toxins at the workplace or in the home.
COPD tends to show up in most people after the age of 40. The condition could also have a genetic component, as people with alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency accounts for about one percent of COPD cases.
How is COPD treated?
If you have COPD, the right treatment protocol can help you manage your symptoms and reduce inflammation in the lungs. Your provider may first want to run a series of diagnostic tests to determine the condition’s severity, and what treatment methods might be most effective.
Some of the common treatments for COPD include:
- Smoking cessation: an essential part of recovering from COPD and keeping healthy lungs
- Medication: several different types of drugs that make breathing easier and that reduce inflammation in the lungs
- Oxygen therapy: supplemental oxygen to help repair and replenish your lungs
- Pulmonary rehabilitation: education, exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle changes that help you improve your symptoms and regain your health
To help speed along your recovery, avoid chemical or environmental irritants, practice deep breathing exercises, and eat healthy foods to support your overall well-being.
Do you have symptoms of COPD? Contact Maiden Lane Medical by calling or booking a consultation online today.