Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is a serious lung disease that is the third most common cause of death in the United States. More than 24 million Americans suffer from this condition, which makes it progressively more difficult for a person to breathe. Here are some commonly asked questions about COPD.
What are the types of COPD? There are two primary types of COPD: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. When a person has chronic bronchitis, their bronchial tubes become severely inflamed, producing an unusual amount of mucus and causing a persistent cough. Emphysema is a condition marked by progressive damage to the lungs. Most people with COPD suffer from both conditions to varying degrees.
What causes COPD? COPD is most often caused in by breathing in cigarette smoke, though it can also be caused by long-term exposure to chemical fumes and other pollutants. Being a smoker drastically raises your chances of developing COPD, especially as you get older. Quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to reduce your risk of COPD.
What are the symptoms of COPD? Many people are not diagnosed with COPD until the condition is fairly advanced. Having a persistent cough is a warning sign, particularly if you regularly cough up mucus. Wheezing, chronic fatigue, and continual shortness of breath are also common symptoms of COPD.
How is COPD treated? There is no cure for COPD, but the condition can be managed and its symptoms can be reduced. Pulmonary rehabilitation, which focuses on building up strength through exercise and breathing therapy, is one of the most effective treatment methods for COPD. The therapy is combined with other methods such as oxygen supplements and medications.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of COPD, contact Largo Medical Center. We offer state-of-the-art treatment for a wide range of medical issues, including COPD and other lung diseases. You can find out more about our medical services by visiting our website or by calling (727) 470-6826.