Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a chronic, progressive condition that affects your breathing. At Medhealth Clinical in Winter Park, Florida, primary care specialist Pedro F. Garcia, MD, can help diagnose your condition and manage your treatment plan. If you’re suffering from COPD or have symptoms that suggest it, call Medhealth Clinical to schedule an appointment or book online today.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a chronic inflammatory lung disease. The disease affects the lining of the bronchial tubes responsible for carrying air to your lungs' air sacs. Due to the obstruction of airflow to the lungs, you have difficulty breathing and produce a lot of mucus.
Most people with COPD have a history of cigarette smoking, but it can also develop in response to secondhand smoke or other irritants.
COPD can make simple activities, such as walking, difficult. Even vacuuming or other household chores can leave you gasping for breath. It also increases your risk of developing other chronic diseases, like heart disease and lung cancer.
COPD is progressive, meaning it develops and worsens over time. You may not notice symptoms at first, but as the condition advances, you may experience:
The presence of these symptoms might indicate you’ve already experienced significant lung damage.
COPD symptoms aren’t always severe. Many people have periods where the symptoms are more intense than others. These flare-ups can last a few days.
Cigarette smoking is a significant cause of COPD; 20-30% of chronic smokers develop the disease. Many people experience emphysema and chronic bronchitis before getting a COPD diagnosis.
If you have COPD symptoms, Dr. Garcia may order lab tests, chest X-rays, and pulmonary function tests to confirm a diagnosis. He may recommend you visit a respiratory specialist, depending on the severity of your disease.
COPD does not have a cure, but you can manage the symptoms. Those who smoke should stop immediately; Dr. Garcia can help.
The team at Medhealth Clinical can also help manage oral or inhaled prescription medications to relax the muscles of your airway, so breathing is easier.
The practice manages supplemental oxygen and coordinates care with pulmonary rehabilitation programs. Dr. Garcia can also provide nutritional advice and exercise training recommendations to restore your quality of life.
If you have COPD or symptoms of the condition, contact Medhealth Clinical by phone or schedule an appointment online today.