Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease

Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive lung disease that causes coughing, sputum production, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. COPD is a major cause of disability, and it’s the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. More than 12 million people are currently diagnosed with COPD. An additional 12 million likely have the disease and don’t even know it. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. The term “COPD” includes two main conditions, emphysema and chronic obstructive bronchitis. In emphysema, the walls between many of the air sacs are damaged, causing them to lose their shape and become floppy. This damage also can destroy the walls of the air sacs, leading to fewer and larger air sacs instead of many tiny ones. In chronic obstructive bronchitis, the lining of the airways is constantly irritated and inflamed. This causes the lining to thicken. Lots of thick mucus forms in the airways, making it hard to breathe. Most people who have COPD have both emphysema and chronic obstructive bronchitis. Thus, the general term “COPD” is more accurate. COPD develops slowly. Symptoms often worsen over time and can limit your ability to do routine activities. Severe COPD may prevent you from doing even basic activities like walking, cooking, or taking care of your-self. COPD has no cure yet. However, treatments and lifestyle changes can help you feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease.

How is COPD Diagnosed?

Your doctor will diagnose COPD based on your signs and symptoms, your medical and family histories, along with an examination. The diagnosis is confirmed with lung function tests. These tests measure how much air you can breathe in and out, how fast you can breathe air out, and how well your lungs can deliver oxygen to your blood. The primary test for COPD is spirometry. During this painless test, a technician will ask you to take a deep breath in and then blow as hard as you can into a tube connected to a small machine. The machine is called a spirometer. Spirometry can detect COPD even before you have symptoms of the disease. It can also be used to track the progression of disease and to monitor how well treatment is working.

Management of COPD

Quit smoking!

Quit smoking!

Quit smoking!


  • Bronchodilators
  • Inhaled steroids



  • Pulmonary rehab


  • Influenza
  • Pneumovax

Healthy Lifestyle

  • Nutrition



What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways (the tubes that carry air into and out of your lungs). Asthma causes recurrent wheezing , chest tightness, shortness of breath, and cough. Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts in childhood. In the United States, more than 22 million people are known to have asthma. Inflammation in asthma makes the airways swollen and very sensitive. They tend to react strongly to certain substances that are breathed in. When the airways react, the muscles around them tighten. This causes the airways to narrow, and less air flows to your lungs. The swelling also can worsen, making the airways even narrower. Cells in the airways may make more mucus than normal. Mucus can further narrow your airways. Sometimes symptoms are mild and go away on their own or after minimal treatment with an asthma medicine. At other times, symptoms continue to get worse. When symptoms get more intense and/or additional symptoms appear, this is an asthma attack. It’s important to treat symptoms when you first notice them. This will help prevent the symptoms from worsening and causing a severe asthma at-tack. Severe asthma attacks may require emergency care, and they can cause death. Asthma cannot be cured. Even when you feel fine, you still have the dis-ease and it can flare up at any time. With proper treatment, most people who have asthma can expect to have few, if any, symptoms either during the day or at night.

Achieve and maintain control of symptoms

  • To allow for full physical activity
  • To prevent nocturnal awakenings due to asthma
  • Prevent asthma exacerbations
  • Maintain pulmonary function as close to normal levels as possible
  • Avoid adverse effects from asthma medications
  • Prevent irreversible airway obstruction
  • Prevent death from asthma

Use the asthma control test to determine how well controlled your asthma is.

Asthma Triggers

  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Allergens (e.g . dust mites, cats & dogs, molds)
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Medications (e.g. Beta-blockers, Aspirin)

Asthma Medications

Relievers – Bronchodilator

  • ProAir HFA®
  • Proventil HFA®
  • Ventolin HFA®
  • ProAir HFA®
  • Xopenex®
  • Maxair®

Controllers – inhaled steroid

  • Flovent®
  • Pulmicort®
  • Asmanex®

Controllers – combination

  • Advair®
  • Symbicort®

Controllers – Leukotriene Antagonist

  • Singulair®
  • Accolate®