Treating a COPD Diagnosis
More than twelve million people have been diagnosed with COPD, and people with this medical condition have difficulty breathing. Many people with the condition are smokers. The term COPD is given for chronic breathing problems. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema often lead to COPD. The condition will worsen without proper medical treatment, but there are ways to prevent further lung damage.
What Are the Symptoms of COPD?
In the beginning, people with COPD suffer from a chronic cough. The cough often produces mucus, and people feel shortness of breath when doing strenuous activities. When the condition worsens, people often feel shortness of breath while walking or doing basic tasks.
What Causes COPD?
Besides smoking, air pollution can cause COPD. Working around strong chemicals increases the odds of developing the condition. When the chemicals irritate the fibers in the lungs, breathing becomes difficult. The condition can be hereditary, but most people diagnosed after sixty were exposed to harmful chemicals for decades. In people younger than sixty, a rare medical disorder can be the cause of the condition.
How is COPD Diagnosed?
Only a doctor can diagnose COPD. The doctor will ask about past and present health conditions. Physicians use specialized tools to measure lung function. In addition to breathing test, the physician may also order x-rays.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
The best way to slow COPD is to quit smoking. This is the most important thing you can do. It is never too late to quit. No matter how long you have smoked or how serious your COPD is, quitting smoking can slow the damage to your lungs. In addition to breathing cleaner air, your physician might suggest you enroll in a rehab program. While enrolled in a lung rehab program, a team of specialists will keep track of your ongoing progress.
People with COPD are much more likely to develop recurrent lung infections, so annual flu shots are reccomended. If symptoms worsen, patients should request a different treatment plan. Following a strict routine of healthy eating and regular exercise can increase longevity.