What are the symptoms of COPD?
In its early stages, COPD may have mild symptoms or may not cause any symptoms at all. As it progresses, however, people may experience:
- Chronic cough
- High levels of phlegm
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or whistling sounds while breathing
- Chest tightness
- Difficulty with deep breathing
What are the risk factors of COPD?
People may have a higher than average risk of developing COPD if they meet any of the following criteria:
- Former or current smoker
- Family history of COPD
- Exposure to inhaled irritants
- Air pollution
- Harsh chemicals
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (a genetic condition)
- History of childhood respiratory infections
If you meet any of these conditions, speak to your doctor to discuss your risk.
What treatments are available for COPD?
Our team of board-certified pulmonologists works with patients to discuss their unique needs and create customized treatment plans for their COPD. These plans may include:
- Oral and inhaled steroids
- Combination inhalers
- Lung therapy
- Supplemental oxygen
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
- Lung procedures
- Lung volume reduction surgery
- Lung transplant
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of COPD, schedule a visit with a St. Joseph Health pulmonologist today.