Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Treatment in Erie, PA
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, describes a variety of chronic lung diseases that leave the person affected unable to breathe properly. This condition is becoming more and more common for Americans, and it is one of the leading causes of death among them.
Most often, you will see COPD in the form of:
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Refractory Asthma
Many of the signs and symptoms associated with COPD are easy to brush off as a normal occurrence, but early detection and treatment of COPD can make an incredible difference in the life of a patient. Typical COPD symptoms include:
- Frequent coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness within the chest
- Increasing degrees of breathlessness
Causes of COPD
Most chronic lung diseases are caused by a history of smoking, but this is not the sole contributor to these types of conditions. It is possible for persons who have never smoked nor been exposed to such pollutants to get COPD.
Environmental and genetic factors can also play a large role in an individual’s potential to develop a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
COPD Diagnosis and Treatment
In order to determine the current functionality of your lungs, your family care provider will likely run a few tests. Most often, a spirometry test is administered. This simple, non-invasive test is used to measure the abilities of the lungs, which will help to conclude whether or not a patient has COPD.
Once the patient’s condition has been properly assessed, a doctor will determine the appropriate method of treatment. Those who do smoke will be urged to quit, and a variety of medications are often prescribed to help with symptoms of the patient’s chronic lung disease.
In more severe cases, particularly for those with emphysema, surgery may be considered. It is important to weigh each and every treatment option carefully, and to discuss all major factors with your doctor before beginning a new form of treatment.