COPD, or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is a chronic and progressive lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. The main causes of COPD are long-term exposure to irritants that damage the lungs and the airways.
Cigarette smoking is the most common cause of COPD, accounting for up to 90% of all cases. Tobacco smoke contains harmful chemicals that can irritate the lungs and cause inflammation.
Other risk factors include:
- Air pollution
- Occupational exposure (dust, fumes, and chemicals)
- Genetic predisposition
- Respiratory infections can also contribute to its development
Occupations with highest risk of developing COPD include:
- Coal mining
- Construction work
- Factory work
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Chronic cough
- Frequent respiratory infections
These symptoms may worsen over time.
Treatment for COPD typically includes medication, such as inhalers and steroids, to help relieve symptoms and reduce inflammation in the lungs.
Oxygen therapy may also be necessary if your oxygen levels are low.
Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, avoiding air pollution, and getting regular exercise can help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Regular check-ups and pulmonary tests can help healthcare professionals determine how well your lungs are functioning and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
Upperline Plus providers can develop a COPD management plan that works for you. They can also help you understand your medications and provide additional resources and support including
, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, and mental health services.
Contact one of our Upperline Health convenient clinics to get your COPD treatment started.