What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
COPD is a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. While there is no cure for COPD, at Hattiesburg Clinic Pulmonary Medicine, we strive to help treat and manage the symptoms that impact a patient’s quality of life. COPD treatment options include medication, rehabilitation, oxygen treatment if needed and physical activity training.
What are COPD symptoms?
Symptoms of COPD can often be overlooked as they can be seen as common or a normal part of aging. If you experience the symptoms listed below, you may be at risk and should talk to your doctor about testing. Common symptoms of COPD include:
- Frequent coughing or wheezing (cough may be dry or with phlegm)
- Excess phlegm, mucus or sputum
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble taking a deep breath
- Limited activity due to trouble breathing
Who is at risk of having COPD?
Tobacco use is the primary cause of COPD in the United States, but pollutants at home and work may also cause COPD. You may be at risk if you are older than 40 years and:
- Have symptoms of COPD
- Have a history of smoking
- Have been exposed to environmental or occupational pollutants
COPD Diagnosis and Treatment
If you are experiencing symptoms of COPD, please call your health care provider to discuss your concerns. A common method for diagnosing COPD is a breathing test called spirometry. Spirometry is a common in-office test that identifies how well your lungs work. The test measures how much air you inhale and exhale. (Spirometry can be used to diagnose COPD, but also other illnesses such as asthma. )
Sources and COPD Resources