When you think about lung diseases, you may automatically think about lung cancer. But there are lots of different types of chronic respiratory diseases that can affect the airways and lung tissues. At some point of your life, you will have the need to see a pulmonologist. If you are looking for a pulmonologist around Brooklyn, Brownsville and East New York, you can contact us or visit our website for Doral Health and Wellness Pulmonary Center.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is one of the most common chronic respiratory diseases. It is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstruction of airflow from the lungs. Having COPD increases your risk of developing heart diseases, lung cancer and other medical condition.
Symptoms for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease doesn’t often appear until lung damage has occurred, and they worsen over time. Some of the signs and symptoms for this condition includes:
· Persistent wheezing
· Chest tightness
· A cough that produces mucus
· Frequent respiratory infections
· Swelling in the legs, feet, or ankle
· Sudden weight loss
· Shortness of breath
Without treatment, these symptoms could get a lot worse. And there may be a period where they get suddenly worse, and they are more common during the winter season. Do not hesitate to contact us if you notice persistent symptoms of COPD. Especially if you are over 35 years old and you smoke or used to smoke.
COPD happens when the lungs become damaged and inflamed. And the main cause of having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is smoking, although people who doesn’t smoke still develop having this disease. But the likelihood of having COPD increases to people who smoke smore and to people who are constantly exposed to smoke.
· Smoking – this is the main and most common cause of having COPD. The harmful chemicals found in the cigarette can damage the lining of the lungs and airways. Being a second-hand smoker or being constantly exposed to other people’s smoking can also increase your risk of developing COPD.
· Fumes and dust – exposure to certain types of dust and fumes from chemicals can also increase the risk of having COPD. Substances that have been linked to COPD also includes silica dust, welding fumes, cadmium dust, coal dust and isocyanates.
· Air pollution – research is still ongoing between the link of air pollution and COPD, but because exposure to air pollution over a long period of time can do damage to the lungs, it can also increase the risk of developing COPD in the long run.
· Genetics – some people have higher risk of developing COPD because of their genes. If they have a family member or close relative with the same condition, it makes them more vulnerable in developing the same disease and condition.
Having symptoms that are consistent with symptoms of COPD doesn’t automatically make you have the disease. Your doctor will conduct tests to make the proper diagnosis. These tests can include:
· Spirometry – this is a breathing test used to check how your lungs are working
· Chest x-ray – this is a test to check the condition of your lungs, including chest infections
· Other tests, such as an ECG, echocardiogram, a CT-scan and blood tests
Currently there is no cure for COPD but there are treatments available that can help slow down the progression of the disease and control its symptoms. These treatments can include:
· Inhalers – usually, COPD can affect your breathing. An inhaler is often advised as it helps deliver the medicine directly to your lungs. Your doctor will teach you the proper use of the inhaler to maximize its effect
· Medications – if the symptoms are not controlled with inhalers, your doctor might recommend that you take oral medications instead. Some of the oral medications can include steroid tablets, antibiotics and mucolytics
· Pulmonary rehabilitation – a therapy session that provides different healthcare professionals, such as physiotherapists, nurses and sometimes a dietitian
· Surgery – surgeries are for patients that symptoms cannot be alleviated by medicines
· Lung transplant – this is an operation that removes a defective lungs and replaced with a healthy lung from a donor
Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of COPD, hence the best way in preventing the disease. We know that for some smoker, telling them to stop is ridiculous. But you have to keep trying. The best way in preventing COPD is to never smoke, or to stop smoking. Try to do your best in preventing, or at least reduce, damage to your lungs.
Exposure to chemical fumes and dusts is also another risk in developing COPD. If you are exposed to these chemicals because of work, talk to your superiors on how to protect yourself, such as wearing personal protective equipment.
Although there are several medical conditions that has the same symptoms as that of COPD, it is still important that you get a proper diagnosis.
At Doral Health and Wellness Pulmonary Center, we offer the best possible expertise and care in all aspects of pulmonology. Our specialists make sure that are patients are well taken cared for and are involved in every step of the decision-making process. We also make sure to avoid invasive tests whenever possible. We offer the best pulmonologist in Brooklyn with an unrivaled pulmonary clinic in the heart of East New York.
To book an appointment, you can visit us 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York or call us at 347-868-1015. You can also check and visit our website at https://pulmonologistbrooklyn.com to book an appointment online.