Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects millions of Americans. The good news is COPD is often preventable. Early detection, which is available at Dominion Family Healthcare, is key to successfully treating COPD. Conveniently located in San Antonio, the practice offers specialized care to help you breathe more easily. If you need help managing your COPD, call to schedule a consultation or book one online with Dr. Yasmeen Agha.
COPD Q & A
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a long-term lung condition that makes it difficult to breathe. COPD includes lasting lung problems, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
What causes COPD?
Prolonged exposure to irritants can bring on COPD. Smoking is responsible for 85-90% of COPD cases. Chemicals, toxins, and fumes also can provoke COPD.
Some people have a form of COPD called alpha-1 deficiency-related emphysema, although this is extremely rare. This form of COPD is passed down in families.
What are the symptoms of COPD?
The signs and symptoms of COPD often can be confused with other health problems. If you have COPD, you’ll typically experience:
- A persistent cough
- Shortness of breath when you’re doing routine activities
- Frequent respiratory infections
- A lot of mucus or phlegm in your throat
- A blue tinge on your lips or fingernail beds
You may not see the signs of COPD until your condition gets too far along. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to contact Dominion Family Healthcare as soon as possible. Catching COPD early plays a pivotal role in successful treatment.
How is COPD diagnosed?
Your doctor at Dominion Family Healthcare asks about your symptoms, and conducts a physical exam. You might be asked questions like:
- Do you smoke or have you smoked in the past?
- Do family members have COPD?
- Are you around secondhand smoke, pollutants, or chemicals?
You may need tests, such as an X-ray or breathing test, to complete your diagnosis.
What is the treatment for COPD?
At Dominion Family Health, your doctor creates a treatment plan tailored to your symptoms. Your plan may include COPD medications to help you breathe easier so you can resume all of the activities you enjoy.
Some of the medications your doctor may recommend include:
- Bronchodilators: medicines you inhale to relax muscles around your airways
- Corticosteroids or steroids: medicines you inhale or take in pill form to alleviate swelling and lessen the production of mucus in your airways
- Antibiotics: to control a flare-up of symptoms caused by a bacterial infection
Depending on your condition, you may benefit from a combination of these medications.
If you think you have COPD, don’t delay. Get the expert care you need by calling or schedule a consultation online with Dominion Family Health.