Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects millions of Americans and is the third leading cause of death in the United States. COPD is becoming increasingly common, but with diagnosis and treatment at Houston Pulmonary, Sleep & Allergy Associates in Cypress and Houston, Texas, you can breathe easier. The team provides expert care with compassion, so you can get the help and support you need. Call one of the offices or schedule a visit online today to get reliable COPD care.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic lung condition, also known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis, that makes it difficult to breathe. With COPD, the airways in your lungs become thickened and inflamed, creating constricted space for airflow.
In turn, this makes it more difficult to get oxygen into your lungs and carbon dioxide out of your body. Over time, this problem worsens, and you experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing during regular activities, and trouble catching your breath while exercising.
The most common cause of COPD is smoking cigarettes. Other causes of COPD include long-term exposure to chemicals, dust, and pollutants in the air where you work or live. In rare cases, COPD is caused by a genetic condition called alpha-1 deficiency-related emphysema.
The best way to prevent COPD is to quit smoking. If you are not a smoker, don’t start smoking. It is also important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke, chemicals, and pollutants. It may be necessary to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth if dangerous chemicals are present in your workplace.
If you experience shortness of breath or have a history of smoking, the team at Houston Pulmonary, Sleep & Allergy Associates performs a thorough examination. They begin by listening to your lungs through his stethoscope and taps on your back and chest to check for abnormal sounds that indicate lung disease.
Additional testing includes spirometry and pulmonary function testing. Spirometry involves blowing into a small tube that measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs. Spirometry can indicate problematic lung changes before you develop symptoms of COPD.
Other pulmonary function tests assess how much oxygen your lungs can hold and how well oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged in your lungs. With testing, you can get the care you need to prevent or slow the progression of COPD.
If you smoke, the first step is quitting smoking. Additional treatment involves pulmonary rehabilitation to improve your breathing. This may include education, exercise training, nutrition advice, and counseling. In some cases, the team recommends supplemental oxygen, surgery, or medications to manage the side effects of COPD.
You don't have to suffer from COPD. Get treatment and support at Houston Pulmonary, Sleep & Allergy Associates. Call today or schedule your consultation online.