COPD Specialist

Abilene Family Medical Associates

Family Medicine Physicians located in Abilene, TX

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) causes lung inflammation that interferes with airflow, so symptoms like wheezing and coughing can be common issues. Fortunately, you can manage COPD symptoms and prevent them from worsening into other problems like heart disease by working with the providers at Abilene Family Medical Associates in Abilene, Texas. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today for expert help in managing your COPD.

COPD Q & A

Abilene Family Medical Associates

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a group of diseases that affect the lungs. The types of COPD include:

Emphysema

In emphysema, the small air sacs inside your lungs get stretched, which makes your lungs bigger and makes it harder for you to breathe.

Chronic bronchitis

In chronic bronchitis, the airways within your lungs grow swollen and full of mucus. This can make it very difficult to clear your lungs of mucus, and can also make breathing painful and difficult.

Refractory asthma

Refractory, or nonreversible, asthma is a variety of asthma that medication doesn't help with. Your doctor may diagnose you with refractory asthma if your asthma is chronic, severe, and hasn't improved with medication.

All of these varieties of COPD are serious, so it’s important to get help from your doctor so you can manage your symptoms in the best way possible.

What are the symptoms of COPD?

The symptoms of COPD can vary by specific illness, but in general, the most common symptoms of a COPD illness include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic cough
  • Mucus congestion in lungs
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain

You may have several of these symptoms at one time, and it’s normal to have COPD symptoms on most days.

How is COPD diagnosed?

COPD diagnosis starts with a discussion of your symptoms. Your Abilene Family Medical Associates doctor can perform diagnostic tests to verify a COPD diagnosis. These tests may include:

  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scan
  • Lung function tests
  • Arterial blood gas analysis

You may also need further on-site laboratory testing to verify COPD, and to determine the underlying cause behind it.

How is COPD treated?

COPD treatment starts with one major change: no more smoking. If you’re not a smoker, you still need to minimize your time around secondhand smoke as much as possible. Your doctor may prescribe medication as well, including the following options.

  • Inhaled medications
  • Oral steroids
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Oral phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors
  • Oral theophylline

If you have severe COPD, you may also need supplemental oxygen and pulmonary rehab to help minimize health issues and improve your quality of life.

Call Abilene Family Medical Associates or schedule an appointment online today if you have COPD.