Internists located in Katy, Houston, TX
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects around 11 million Americans and is the third-leading cause of premature death. Many patients also suffer from asthma and COPD at the same time, accounting for 15-25% of all COPD cases. Katy Internists located in Houston provides diagnostic testing and customized treatments to help manage your COPD symptoms, so you can live the healthy life you deserve. To learn more, call the office or use the online scheduling tool and make an appointment today.
COPD Q & A
What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a collective term for progressive lung diseases that block the airflow into and out of your lungs.
Illnesses like chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and refractory (nonreversible) asthma are all examples of COPD.
What are the symptoms of COPD?
COPD gets worse over time and symptoms often aren’t noticeable until your illness has reached an advanced stage. Some common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Chronic cough
- Clear or discolored mucus
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Unexplained weight loss
- Swollen ankles and feet
As you get older, you may assume that shortness of breath is just a part of aging, but it should never be ignored. It often indicates that you have COPD. Symptoms of COPD may also appear for a few days and get worse for several days at a time, before going away.
If you notice any of the signs above, make an appointment at Katy Internists today.
What are the causes of COPD?
Smoking and secondhand smoke is the main cause of COPD. Other factors that increase your risk include air pollution, breathing in too much dust and chemicals, and family history of COPD.
How do you diagnose COPD?
The team at Katy Internists use a spirometry test to assess the health of your lungs. A spirometry test measures how much air you can inhale, how much you can exhale, and how quickly you can perform both actions.
A chest X-ray or CT scan may also be used in cases of suspected emphysema. CT scans can also help determine if you might benefit from surgery for COPD.
Your practitioner at Katy Internists may also use various types of laboratory tests to determine the cause of your symptoms, especially if you develop symptoms under the age of 45.
How is COPD treated?
If your test results suggest that you have COPD, your practitioner at Katy Internists discusses the severity and underlying causes of your condition and works with you to create a treatment plan. The team may suggest a range of different treatments based on your particular condition including:
Quitting smoking is the most important step in your treatment and the only guaranteed way to stop your symptoms from getting worse.
Your doctor can prescribe medication to help relieve symptoms and to prevent your condition from worsening. Patients who suffer from asthma may also be prescribed inhalers to help with attacks.
Severe cases of COPD can benefit from supplemental oxygen therapy which helps maintain a healthy level of oxygen in your blood at all times.
Very advanced cases may require surgery including lung volume reduction surgery to remove parts of your diseased lung. If necessary, your provider at Katy Internists may recommend lung transplant.
Your provider creates a customized recovery plan that combines dietary changes, exercise training, and counseling.
If you’re suffering from a cough that won’t go away, you may have COPD and should get tested. For a diagnosis and help managing your symptoms, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment today.
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