COPD Symptoms and Treatment Options

Nearly 13 million people in the US have already been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD.  It is suspected that nearly double that number may actually be affected.

COPD is a serious lung disease that makes breathing increasingly difficult.  It can include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, chronic asthma, or a combination of those conditions.  The most common cause of COPD is smoking cigarettes.

COPD Symptoms

Do you suspect you or someone you love may have COPD?  Here are some of the symptoms to look for:

  • Shortness of breath when you climb stairs, walk uphill, or do other physical activity
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when you breathe
  • Excess phlegm or mucous production
  • A chronic cough, often labeled a ‘smoker’s cough’
  • Frequent respiratory infections or colds

COPD is a progressive disease.  In the early stages you may think your symptoms or caused by aging or letting yourself get out of shape.  If you have been a smoker for many years, however, and your symptoms aren’t improving, you may have COPD.

Treating COPD

If you have COPD symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible.  There is no cure for COPD, but the sooner you begin treating the problem, the better chance you will have of controlling the symptoms and slowing its progression.

The most important step in treating COPD is to quit smoking.  Yes, that can be an extremely difficult step to take, but it is vital.  People with COPD who continue to smoke experience a more rapid deterioration of lung function than those who quit.  There is help available for people who want to quit.  Talk to your physician about options for smoking cessation.

Other treatments comprise the use of a variety of medications, including bronchodilators, antimicrobials, corticosteroids, and other drugs.  In advanced cases of COPD, oxygen therapy becomes necessary.

Controlling COPD with medications is essential to your quality of life.    Although the necessary prescription drugs can prove to be expensive, there are ways to help cut down the cost.  Many COPD patients choose to buy drugs online rather than pay full price at retail pharmacies.  They often find that they can save even more by choosing to use an online pharmacy in Canada.

If you suspect you have COPD, talk to your doctor about your symptoms as soon as possible.  Proper treatment will help you continue to enjoy life even with COPD.

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