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COPD

Lung & Sleep Institute

Pulmonologist, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine Specialist located in White Plains, MD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death throughout the United States, the American Lung Association reports. With their expertise in diagnosing and treating COPD, Song C. Chon, MD and Abbas Omais, MD of the Lung & Sleep Institute in White Plains, Maryland, can help with your condition. They offer innovative solutions for men and women struggling with COPD. You can book your COPD evaluation by using the online scheduling system, or by calling the clinic.

COPD Q & A

What is COPD?

COPD is a chronic type of lung disease that obstructs your airflow to and from your lungs. Usually, it stems from long-term exposure to irritating gases or pollutants, such as cigarette smoke. The two most common conditions leading to COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

With emphysema, your alveoli, which are tiny air sacs, are permanently destroyed. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, stems from inflammation of the lining of specialized bronchial tubes that are responsible for moving air to and from your lungs. Both of these issues are known for making it difficult to catch your breath.

What’s particularly concerning about COPD is that once diagnosed, you have a higher risk of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and other severe chronic conditions. Often these other issues are also associated with cigarette smoke or similar pollutants, as well as decreased oxygen levels.

Can I tell if I have COPD?

Usually, yes. COPD sufferers typically complain of difficulty breathing, which is sometimes associated with wheezing. Because these are also signs of asthma, COPD can sometimes go misdiagnosed or overlooked until symptoms become severe. If you have COPD, you’re likely to experience:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • A chronic cough that produces mucus
  • Chest tightness and shortness of breath

Because COPD can affect blood circulation and oxygen levels, you might notice blueness in your fingertips or lips, known as cyanosis. Some COPD sufferers even have edema or swelling in their lower extremities.

In reality, the only way to know for sure if you have COPD is to have a thorough examination. The team at the Lung & Sleep Institute often combine laboratory testing, chest X-ray or CT scan imaging, and lung function tests to help confirm a COPD diagnosis.

How is COPD treated?

While no cure for COPD exists, it’s certainly manageable, and many COPD sufferers go on to live long, healthy lives when it’s caught early. The most critical step is to stop all smoking. Your treatment from the Lung & Sleep Institute could include:

  • Inhaled or oral steroids
  • Combination inhalers
  • Bronchodilator inhalers
  • Specialized antibiotics

Dr. Chon and Dr. Omais could even get you started on oxygen therapy or a pulmonary rehabilitation program to help you make significant lifestyle changes. Rest assured, the team works diligently to help you find a solution for COPD that works for you.

Schedule your COPD evaluation at the Lung & Sleep Institute either through the online booking feature or by calling the office.