Did you know?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is actually a group of illnesses that impact the lungs. COPD illnesses can include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Patients who have trouble with breathing should see Dr. Tagbo J. Ekwonu at Eastowne Family Physicians, PA in Charlotte, North Carolina as soon as possible. NoDa, Eastway, and Plaza Midwood patients can get relief that allows them to finally take a full breath again. Make your appointment today by calling our office or scheduling online.
What is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a group of diseases that affect the lungs. The most common kinds of COPD are bronchitis and emphysema, and these two illnesses can be present at the same time. COPD causes serious breathing problems, and it usually grows worse over time if it’s not medically managed.
What are the signs of COPD?
The signs of COPD can include:
- A chronic cough
- Wheezing, gasping for air, or other difficulties in breathing freely
- Chest pain due to a chronic cough
What causes COPD?
It’s not always certain why COPD occurs. In many cases, COPD sufferers are exposed to something in their environment that contributes to or causes the illness. Common risk factors for COPD include:
- Cigarette smoking: Most COPD patients currently smoke or have smoked in the past. However, secondhand smoke can also contribute.
- Air pollution: Patients who live in areas with high air pollution may be more likely to have COPD.
- Poorly ventilated environment: Patients who live or work in poorly ventilated environments in which they don’t get enough fresh air may be more likely to develop COPD.
How is COPD diagnosed?
Several different tests may be done to diagnose COPD. Dr. Ekwonu may perform a lung function test, such as spirometry to measure the quantity of air inhaled and exhaled. In some cases, Dr. Ekwonu may order a chest X-ray. Chest X-rays can also eliminate other medical problems like heart failure. Dr. Ekwonu may also determine that a CT scan is necessary, as this is an effective way of identifying emphysema.
What is the treatment for COPD?
COPD treatment often starts with prescribed bronchodilator medication. This type of medication is delivered through an inhaler, and it’s a highly effective way to force the lung airways open so you can breathe again. Depending on the specific type of COPD with which you’re dealing and relative to your specific symptoms, you may also need medications like corticosteroids. Some patients benefit from oxygen therapy, as well.
If you suffer from COPD or think you have some worrisome symptoms, don’t hesitate to get the answers and help you need. Use the online appointment maker or call the Eastowne Family Physicians, PA office anytime to arrange an appointment with Dr. Ekwonu.