COPD

Brandon Riverview Medical Associates

Primary Care Practice, Urgent Care, & Weight Loss Center located in Brandon, FL & Riverview, FL

There is no cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but the right treatment can help you breathe easier and live an active and productive life. The physicians at Brandon Riverview Medical Associates in Brandon and Riverview, Florida, work with you to provide a patient-focused treatment strategy that can help you overcome the limitations of COPD and focus on the activities you love. Call the office today for an appointment or book your visit online.

COPD Q & A

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow from the lungs. It's caused by long-term environmental exposure to irritating substances such as gases, heavy dust or, most often, cigarette smoke.

If you have COPD, you’re also at an increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions.

Is COPD the same as emphysema?

Emphysema is a lung disease that contributes to COPD. When you have emphysema, the small air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs are destroyed through exposure to cigarette smoke and other environmental pollutants. Emphysema impairs your ability to expel air from your lungs, which makes it difficult to fill your lungs with fresh air.

Chronic bronchitis is another common contributor to COPD. This causes inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes. These small tubes carry air to and from the alveoli in your lungs. Chronic bronchitis is characterized by daily cough and mucus (sputum) production.

The persistent inflammation noted with chronic bronchitis narrows these small tubes and causes increased mucus production, which blocks the tubes further. This makes it hard to breathe and often causes a persistent cough as your body tries to clear the airways.  

How do you treat COPD?

Depending on the severity of your COPD, your treatment plan may include:

  • Inhaled bronchodilators to relax the muscles around your airways and help you breathe easier
  • Inhaled steroids to reduce the inflammation in your airways
  • Oral steroids to decrease inflammation during a COPD exacerbation

Because individuals with COPD are more susceptible to respiratory infections such as pneumonia and influenza, your doctor may also recommend antibiotics to help clear an infection.

Pulmonary rehab that includes education regarding nutrition, exercise, and tips for living with COPD is also an effective therapy for this serious lung condition.

The most effective treatment for COPD, however, is quitting smoking and/or avoiding exposure to environmental substances that exacerbate your symptoms. Smoke from a wood-burning fire, secondhand cigarette smoke, and other irritating airborne substances can greatly affect your breathing and cause further damage to your airways.

Schedule a visit today at Brandon Riverview Medical Associates to learn how to manage your COPD so you can live an active life. Call the office or book your appointment online.