Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects millions of Americans and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. COPD is becoming increasingly common, but with diagnosis and treatment at North Jersey Pulmonary Associates in Paterson and Totowa, New Jersey, you can breathe easier. Dr. Nader Mahmood provides expert care with compassion, so you can get the help and support you need. Call or schedule a visit online today to get reliable COPD care.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic lung condition – sometimes called emphysema or chronic bronchitis – that makes it difficult to breathe. With COPD, the airways in your lungs become thickened and inflamed, creating less space for air to flow.
In turn, this makes it more difficult to get oxygen into your lungs and carbon dioxide out of your body. Over time, this problem worsens, and you experience shortness of breath, difficulty breathing during normal activities, and an inability to catch your breath while exercising.
The most common cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. Other causes of COPD include long-term exposure to chemicals, dust, and pollutants in the air where you work or live. In rare cases, COPD is caused by a genetic condition called alpha-1 deficiency-related emphysema.
The best way to prevent COPD is to quit smoking. If you are not a smoker, don’t start smoking. It is also important to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke, chemicals, and pollutants. It may be necessary to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth if dangerous chemicals are present in your workplace.
If you experience shortness of breath or have a history of smoking, Dr. Mahmood performs a thorough examination. He begins by listening to your lungs through his stethoscope and taps on your back and chest to check for abnormal sounds that indicate lung disease.
Additional testing includes spirometry and pulmonary function testing. Spirometry involves blowing into a small tube that measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs. Spirometry can indicate problematic lung changes before you develop symptoms of COPD.
Other pulmonary function tests assess how much oxygen your lungs can hold and how well oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged in your lungs. With testing, you can get the care you need to prevent or slow the progression of COPD.
If you smoke, the first step is quitting smoking. Additional treatment involves pulmonary rehabilitation to improve your breathing. This may include education, exercise training, nutrition advice, and counseling.
In other cases, Dr. Mahmood recommends supplemental oxygen, surgery, or medications to manage side effects of COPD.
COPD doesn’t have to ruin your life. Get treatment and support at North Jersey Pulmonary Associates. Call or click to schedule your visit now.