According to the National Institutes of Health, 16 million adults in America are affected by COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a group of lung diseases, most commonly emphysema and chronic bronchitis, that lead to blocked airflow, constant coughing, and difficulty breathing as a result of damaged lungs.
Although lung damage cannot be reversed, the symptoms of COPD are often treatable and manageable. Dr. Marc Bowen, M.D. draws upon nearly three decades of clinical practice, specializing in pulmonary diseases, critical care medicine, and internal medicine, to recommend the best course of treatment for COPD patients to help relieve their symptoms, avoid disease progression, and live longer.
What Causes COPD?
Your lungs can be exposed to irritants over your lifetime. Irritants such as tobacco smoke, chemicals, secondhand smoke, air pollution, smoke, or fumes can lead to lung damage, causing chronic COPD. However, in some cases, COPD may be caused by genetics.
People who are over the age of 40, are current or former smokers, or who work in smoky, dusty, or air-polluted environments can be at an increased risk of developing COPD.
What Are the Symptoms of COPD?
Many people believe that their increased coughing or difficulty breathing is a simple sign of aging. However, when people notice that these symptoms do not subside and become more chronic, it may be time to seek medical attention. Symptoms of COPD can include:
- Chronic coughing that is dry or has phlegm
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Shortness of breath, especially when participating in simple physical activities
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Inability to exercise
- Chest pressure or chest pain
How Can COPD Be Treated?
While there is no cure for COPD, many patients are able to manage their coughing and breathing to improve their overall quality of life. Most patients with COPD use bronchodilator inhalers to widen their airways and help them breathe. Other treatment options, such as pulmonary rehabilitation and oxygen therapy, are focused on disease management and the slowing down of disease progression. Dr. Bowen will consider each patient’s condition and determine the right treatment option(s) for you.
What Causes COPD Symptoms to Worsen?
Even though COPD symptoms can be managed, illnesses like the common cold, the flu, or a sinus infection may make breathing and coughing increasingly difficult for COPD patients. These respiratory infections often lead to a flare-up of COPD symptoms, making it difficult for patients to sleep, go to work, or complete daily tasks. It is recommended that COPD patients take great care by washing their hands, boosting their immunity, and avoiding places where germs may spread easily.
Schedule a COPD Treatment Consultation in NYC
If you’re tired of chronic coughing and want to gain back control of your ability to breathe, now is the time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bowen in NYC to determine your COPD symptoms. Dr. Bowen will work with you to determine which treatment option will best manage your COPD. To schedule a consultation, click here or call 212-480-4062 to reach our office in New York City.