COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a disease of the lung caused by chronic bronchitis and emphysema. According to the American Lung Association (http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/copd/ ) COPD is the third leading cause of death in the US. It can cause serious disability and early death. Unfortunately, there is no cure for COPD but there are many ways to prevent and treat COPD.
COPD sufferers have difficulty breathing which is caused by a barrier in the lungs and the flow of air is less than it should be. When this occurs it’s difficult to get rid of carbon dioxide which is the waste gas. As COPD progress’s, it’s extremely hard to continue an active lifestyle due to shortness of breath.
What initiates COPD?
- Smoking is the number one cause of COPD. If you are a smoker stop smoking now! If you are considering smoking – don’t! If you are in a smoke environment you are at risk for COPD. Protect yourself and loved ones by making your home “Smoke Free.”
- Air pollution and aggravating fumes and dusts, especially work-related can also cause COPD.
- In rare cases, COPD can be related to emphysema which is formed by an inherited absence of a protective protein in the blood.
Symptoms of COPD
- Chronic coughing
- Shortness of breath performing everyday tasks
- Difficulty breathing or unable to take a deep breath
- Producing large amounts of phlegm or mucus
If you or a loved one has symptoms of COPD, is a current smoker or a former smoker you should see your doctor right away. Don’t ignore the symptoms or wait for them to get worse, valuable treatment time could be lost. Don’t forget: Early detection is vital to successful treatment. Most lung diseases can be treated, allowing you to live a longer and improved quality of life! For more information on COPD – please contact the specialists of Dominion Internal Medicine @ 540.878.5408 or visit www.dominioninternalmedicine.com.
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