COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the name for a group of conditions that
cause shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Of these conditions chronic bronchitis
and emphysema are the most common. COPD happens when damage occurs in the small
airways and air sacs in the lungs. When these small structures are damaged they block
normal airflow leading to airway obstruction.
WHO IS AT RISK?
By far, the most important risk factor for developing COPD is smoking tobacco (cigarettes).
COPD is cumulative over time, or directly related to the amount of tobacco smoked and
the length of time spent smoking. Long-term exposure to second hand smoke and certain
environmental or occupational chemicals can also lead to COPD. Some individuals may also
be genetically predisposed to developing COPD.
COPD, EMPHYSEMA, CHRONIC BRONCHITIS SYMPTOMS
The classic symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, chronic cough and
phlegm production. The shortness of breath is especially pronounced with exercise. COPD
can predispose to frequent respiratory tract infections. Often COPD causes general fatigue
and lack of energy.
Diagnosis and COPD, Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis Treatment
COPD is formally diagnosed through lung function testing. However, based on history
and examination your doctor may suspect the diagnosis before testing is completed.
The most important first step in treating COPD is smoking cessation. There are several
medications to treat COPD and improved symptoms and quality of life. These medications
include bronchodilators that expand the airways in the lungs and steroids that reduce lung
How PlushCare Works
1. Video chat with a PlushCare doctor and tell them about your symptoms and medications you take.
2. The doctor can assess your condition and prescribe any needed medicines.
3. Pick up your medicines at your pharmacy and be on your way to feeling better.