Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease, aka COPD, is a disease of the respiratory system that degrades the lung’s ability to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen. It’s the third leading cause of death in the United States, and while there’s no cure there is treatment available.
COPD is essentially a broad term used to describe any ailment preventing your respiratory system from functioning properly. There are two main respiratory diseases categorized under COPD.
Remember, if you think or know you have one of these diseases, there is treatment available. Come to one of our Medical Specialty Centers – Your Everyday Health Care Clinic to receive diagnosis and a treatment plan customized to you.
Emphysema is a lung disease causing gradual damage to the alveoli – the small sacs in the lung responsible for filtering through your blood to remove carbon dioxide and insert oxygen. Emphysema causes these little sacs to become thin and weak. Symptoms include a daily, phlegm-producing cough, a blue tint to fingernails, and shortness of breath during daily activities. It’s typically caused by smoking.
Bronchitis is a condition in which the airways to your lungs become inflamed and irritated, causing thickening of the walls and excess mucus production. Chronic bronchitis is a phlegm-producing cough lasting for three or more months out of the year for two consecutive years. It’s not uncommon for chronic bronchitis to go together with emphysema.
Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include shortness of breath during daily activities, frequent respiratory infections, wheezing, fatigue, and a feeling of tightness in the chest. Smoking is the primary cause of chronic bronchitis, though other causes include occupational exposure to pollutants damaging to the airways, and long-term, untreated asthma.
Orchard Hospital Can Help
The outpatient AIRE Program (Accessible Intervention and Respiratory Education) at Orchard Hospital designed to help you gain knowledge of your lung disease, manage your breathing problems and improve your exercise tolerance. In turn, this will help you to achieve your optimal ability to carry out activities of daily living, regain independence and improve your overall quality of life.
If you, or someone you know, are suffering from upper respiratory irritation lasting longer than usual, please don’t hesitate to walk-in to one of our clinics in Gridley and Oroville. We can conduct a spirometry test, a specific diagnostic test aimed at detecting COPD even before problematic symptoms arise.
Our mission at Orchard Hospital is to provide our community with superior health care. We strive to ensure that your experience at Orchard Hospital is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. Our priority is to provide you with the care you need when you need it, with skill, compassion, and respect.