November is National COPD Awareness Month. Take steps now to keep you or your loved one healthy.
It’s easy to assume that shortness of breath, ongoing coughing, and wheezing are symptoms of a passing cold or allergies. However, they could be signs of chronic pulmonary disease or COPD. Half of the estimated 24 million people in the United States who have COPD don’t even know it. Symptoms can occur gradually and progress slowly over time.
COPD is an inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow from the lungs. Conditions contributing to COPD include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD can damage the airways (bronchioles) and air sacs (alveoli), making breathing difficult.
Signs and symptoms of COPD
Know the risk factors that increase the risk of COPD
Start a conversation with your doctor
Diagnosing COPD early can help you and your doctor better manage the disease. If you notice signs and symptoms of COPD, make an appointment with your doctor. At your appointment, your doctor may ask you to:
If you have questions about COPD symptoms or management, talk with your Polyclinic primary care provider or one of our Pulmonologists.