COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is an umbrella term for diseases that make it harder to breathe as a result of lung damage. A diagnosis of COPD means you may have either chronic bronchitis or emphysema.
Those at risk for COPD include women, those over the age of 65, those who have had previous exposure to air pollution, smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke, and those who had multiple respiratory infections as a child. Signs of COPD include cough with mucus, difficulty taking a deep breath, shortness of breath with mild exercise or performing regular activities, and wheezing.
Diagnosis is completed by a respiratory specialist who will example the lungs and heart, check blood pressure and pulse, and look at feet and ankles for swelling, Treatment depends on the underlying condition causing the COPD but may include supplemental oxygen, lung rehabilitation, and some medications. Quitting smoking is also vital for the health of the lung.
The respiratory care team at Schneck is here to help prevent, manage, and treat COPD and other respiratory issues.