COPD Treatment in Orlando, FL
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of inflammatory lung conditions that make it difficult to breathe without treatment. COPD includes bronchitis and emphysema, and many people have both conditions. The most common cause is long-term exposure to a lung irritant, such as cigarette smoke.
There is no cure for COPD, but treatment can ease the symptoms, reduce the risk of complications, and improve quality of life. COPD treatment options include medications, supplemental oxygen therapy, and pulmonary rehabilitation.
How Does COPD Interfere With Breathing?
The lung’s airways branch into thousands of small, thin tubes that end in bunches of balloon-like air sacs. The walls of the air sacs are lined with tiny blood vessels (capillaries). When inhaled air reaches the air sacs, oxygen passes into the bloodstream via the capillaries. At the same time, a waste product (carbon dioxide) moves out of the capillaries and into the air sacs. This process, which is known as gas exchange, moves oxygen into—and carbon dioxide out of—the body.
COPD inhibits gas exchange and causes difficulty breathing as:
- The normally flexible airways and air sacs lose elasticity.
- The walls of the airways become thickened and inflamed.
- The airways produce excess mucus and become clogged.
- The walls of the air sacs break down.
Living With COPD
Awareness is the key to managing COPD. Common triggers include exposure to smoke, dust, humidity, and temperature extremes. To relieve a mild cough or wheezing, it can be helpful to stay inside an air-conditioned building, especially in humid weather. It is also important to closely follow the instructions provided by a doctor, which may include using a rescue inhaler or certain medications at the first sign of a flare-up, such as shortness of breath or increased phlegm production. If additional COPD treatment is needed, a doctor may prescribe a short course of steroids to reduce lung inflammation.
For life-threatening COPD symptoms, such as severe shortness of breath, an inability to speak in full sentences, confusion, lethargy, or bluish lips or fingertips, it is critical to seek emergency COPD treatment at the nearest hospital ER.
If you’re a member of Optimum Direct Care in Orlando, FL, Dr. Toni “Muzzi” Muzzonigro can provide the ongoing COPD treatment you need to manage your symptoms and get on with your life. Contact us today to learn about our chronic disease management services. At Optimum Direct Care, your health is our No. 1 priority.