COPD

Family Medical Doctors -  - Internal Medicine

Family Medical Doctors

Internal Medicine & Pulmonary Medicine located in Trinity, FL

It’s estimated that about 16 million Americans have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a condition that makes it harder to breathe. There are still millions more who suffer from COPD, but haven’t been diagnosed or treated. Family Medical Doctors in Trinity, Florida, is a state-of-the-art pulmonary and internal medicine practice. The experienced health providers specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of COPD. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Q & A

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of conditions that affect the lungs, making it harder to breathe. 

When you breathe in and out, the air sacs in your lungs inflate and deflate like a balloon. If you have COPD, you have a problem with the air sacs, or with the airway passages to the air sacs, that affect your breathing.

What are the types of COPD?

There are two main types of COPD: emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Emphysema

Emphysema affects the air sacs and the walls that surround the air sacs. With emphysema, these structures are less flexible or damaged.

Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is a chronic inflammation and irritation of the lining of your lungs. The inflammation and irritation cause the area to swell and overproduce mucus, obstructing the airway passages. 

In addition to making it harder for you to breathe, COPD increases your risk of developing other chronic health conditions such as heart disease and lung cancer.

What are the symptoms of COPD?

Many people with COPD don’t experience symptoms until they have significant lung damage. 

Symptoms of COPD include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Feelings of suffocation
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty engaging in physical activity
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Weight loss
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, or legs

COPD is a progressive condition that worsens over time. However, your provider at Family Medical Doctors can help you gain control over your COPD to prevent or slow down the progression and improve your quality of life. 

How is COPD diagnosed?

When you visit Family Medical Doctors with symptoms of COPD, your provider conducts an in-depth clinical exam to determine the right diagnosis. During your exam, your provider reviews your symptoms, medical history, and performs a physical exam.

To confirm or rule out COPD, your provider may request diagnostic tests, such as blood work, pulmonary function tests (PFTs), including arterial blood gas testing.

Family Medical Doctors is a full-service practice that offers blood draws and PFTs in the office for your convenience.

How is COPD treated?

Your provider at Family Medical Doctors develops an individualized COPD treatment plan based on the type of COPD you have, the severity of symptoms, and your overall health. 

Treatment may include:

  • Lifestyle modification (smoking cessation, weight loss)
  • Medication to alleviate symptoms (bronchodilators, steroid inhalers)
  • Disease-specific medication 
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation program

The team at Family Medical Doctors specializes in chronic disease management and schedules regular follow-ups and repeat testing to assess the effectiveness of your treatment plan.

For comprehensive and compassionate care for your COPD, call Family Medical Doctors or request an appointment online today.

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