What is COPD? COPD is a chronic lung disease which can include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD impacts the lungs and causes reduced airflow making it harder to breathe.
Statistics: Approximately 15.5 million Americans are diagnosed with COPD, but millions more may have COPD and not know it.
- Chest Tightness
- Shortness of Breath
- Persistent Cough
Main Causes: Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of COPD. In addition, there are other potential causes of COPD including: Dust, Chemical fumes at work/home, Outdoor air pollution, Respiratory illness, and overall indoor or outdoor air quality.
- Quitting Smoking: Quitting all smoking is the most essential step in any treatment plan for COPD.
- Medications: Several medications are available and used to treat symptoms and complications. See your doctor first.
- Inhalers: Bronchodilators are medications that usually come in inhalers. They relax the muscles around your airways which can relieve coughing and shortness of breath. Depending on how severe your disease is, you may need short acting bronchodilator or long lasting, or both.
- Lung therapies: Doctors often prescribe additional therapies for the lungs including oxygen therapy or pulmonary rehabilitation programs.
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