Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD affects 24 million people. Of those that suffer from this disorder, 50% are unaware that they have it. Three of the most common types of this disorder are emphysema, lung disease, or interstitial lung disease. Whether you are suffering from one of them, or if you have shortness of breath, tightness in your chest, or are suffering from a chronic productive cough, then the doctors at Healthonomic Primary Care in Orland Park, Illinois, can help you feel better. Call today to set an appointment.
COPD Q & A
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term used to refer to emphysema, lung disease, interstitial lung disease, and other disorders that make it difficult to breathe. While it commonly occurs amongst smokers and former smokers, up to 20% of those afflicted have never done so, and not all smokers get COPD.
If you get winded walking the stairs, if your chest continually feels tight, or if you suddenly have a constant wheeze, you may have COPD.
How is COPD diagnosed?
There are numerous steps that Dr. Lentzou will need to take to determine whether or not you are suffering from COPD.
The first thing she does is look into your medical history. That includes asking if you have ever smoked or if any of your family members have been diagnosed with emphysema, lung disease, or interstitial lung disease. She then asks about any chronic coughing you may be suffering from and listens to your chest to see if you are wheezing.
Dr. Lentzou may also ask you to breathe into a machine called a spirometer. It measure how much air you breathe out and how quickly you can do so. She may also send you for a chest X-ray.
How is COPD treated?
If you're a smoker, then Dr. Lentzou will recommend ways to help you quit.
Whether smoking is the underlying cause or not, she will also prescribe medication to help you deal with the symptoms. More often than not, this includes an inhaler, be it a bronchodilator, an inhaled steroid, or a combination of the two.
She may also offer lung therapy in the form of oxygen or rehabilitation.
Regardless of your treatment plan, it's critical that you avoid smoke and other air pollution, learn to control your breathing, exercise regularly, and eat right. You need to follow Dr. Lentzou's advice to avoid ending up in the emergency room or hospital, needing a lung transplant.
If you think you may have COPD, then call today an appointment.