Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
COPD is a chronic lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. It includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which are characterized by inflammation and damage to the airways and air sacs in the lungs. COPD is most commonly caused by smoking or exposure to air pollution or workplace irritants.
Symptoms of COPD include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. These symptoms can worsen over time and lead to limitations in daily activities and reduced quality of life. COPD is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time. However, treatment can help manage symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.
When is it necessary to see a doctor?
If you experience chronic coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath, especially if you have a history of smoking, it's time to see a doctor for a COPD evaluation. A doctor can perform lung function tests and prescribe medications to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Treatment options for COPD include medication (such as bronchodilators and corticosteroids), oxygen therapy, and pulmonary rehabilitation. Quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to irritants are also important for managing COPD.
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