Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a group of diseases that affect the lungs. The most common kinds of COPD are bronchitis and emphysema, and these two illnesses can be present at the same time. COPD causes serious breathing problems, and it usually grows worse over time if it's not medically managed.
The signs of COPD can include:
It's not always certain why COPD occurs. In many cases, COPD sufferers are exposed to something in their environment that contributes to or causes the illness. Common risk factors for COPD include:
Several different tests may be done to diagnose COPD. Dr. Ekwonu may perform a lung function test, such as spirometry to measure the quantity of air inhaled and exhaled. In some cases, Dr. Ekwonu may order a chest X-ray. Chest X-rays can also eliminate other medical problems like heart failure. Dr. Ekwonu may also determine that a CT scan is necessary, as this is an effective way of identifying emphysema.
COPD treatment often starts with prescribed bronchodilator medication. This type of medication is delivered through an inhaler, and it's a highly effective way to force the lung airways open so you can breathe again. Depending on the specific type of COPD with which you're dealing and relative to your specific symptoms, you may also need medications like corticosteroids. Some patients benefit from oxygen therapy, as well.
If you suffer from COPD or think you have some worrisome symptoms, don't hesitate to get the answers and help you need. Use the online appointment maker or call the Eastowne Family Physicians, PA office anytime to arrange an appointment with Dr. Ekwonu.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!