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COPD Awareness Month

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD, is a long-term lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. COPD refers to a group of diseases but the most common include Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, COPD affects nearly 16 million American adults; however, many are unaware that they have the disease. November is National COPD Awareness Month. Continue reading to learn more about this disease.

Symptoms and Causes

COPD causes frequent coughing which produces large amounts of mucus, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. It is a progressive disease in which symptoms worsen over time. Individuals with severe COPD may find difficulty with completing basic tasks such as walking, cooking, or caring for themselves.

According to the CDC, one of the main components leading to the progression of COPD is tobacco use. Exposure to air pollutants, genetics, and respiratory infections are among other causes.

Diagnoses and Treatment

A spirometry test can be used to measure lung function and detect COPD in anyone experiencing breathing problems. While COPD cannot be cured, treatments along with lifestyle modifications like quitting smoking, can help to slow the progression of the disease. Medications can help treat symptoms such as wheezing and coughing. Pulmonary rehabilitation can be helpful in teaching patients techniques for breathing bettering, energy conservation, and tips for diet and exercise.


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