Symptoms That Could Mean You Are Suffering from COPD

COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a condition that actually encompasses several different lung diseases. It’s mostly caused by smoking — about one in five smokers will develop it — and the signs are often obvious. If you smoke, or used to, you should get familiar with the symptoms of COPD, so that you can seek treatment if you think you have it.

There is no cure for COPD, but there are treatments that can control the symptoms of the disease and help you maintain a good quality of life. Managing COPD effectively can also help reduce your risk of developing other conditions that are associated with it. If you have it or think you might have it, the health experts at Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey can give you an exam and help you get relief from your symptoms.

Symptoms of COPD

Many of the symptoms of COPD are also symptoms of other conditions. For example, if you get short of breath during physical activity, it could be a symptom of COPD, cardiovascular disease, or simply being out of shape.

However, when you have several of the following symptoms, you should ask your doctor if you have COPD:

The diseases involved in COPD

A number of diseases are involved with COPD, but the two main ones are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. If you have COPD, you’re more likely to have a little of both, but more of one than the other.

Chronic bronchitis

If you have bronchitis, your bronchial tubes — which move air in and out of your lungs — become inflamed and irritated. It may cause pain in your chest, wheezing, and overall fatigue. Chronic bronchitis is when that inflammation lasts for at least three months straight or happens several times in the course of two years.

Emphysema

Emphysema damages the small air sacs in your lungs, which are called alveoli. They become stretched and don’t work as well. The symptoms of emphysema, which are similar to those for bronchitis, include wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness or pain in your chest.

Treating COPD

There is no cure for COPD, but treatment can lower the number of flare-ups you experience, slow the progression of the disease, reduce the likelihood of related complications, and help you continue to lead an active lifestyle.

If you smoke, talk to your doctor at Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey about quitting. Quitting smoking is the most important part of treating COPD.

Medications called bronchodilators are often a part of an effective treatment plan. These drugs can help relax the muscles around the airways in your lungs. Your doctor may also recommend pulmonary rehabilitation. This involves educating you on developing a good exercise routine and finding the best ways to manage the disease.

To learn more about treating COPD, book an appointment online or over the phone with Medical Alliance of Southern New Jersey today. Our staff will evaluate you, discuss your symptoms, and suggest the most appropriate treatments.

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