Learn how to treat these common chronic respiratory disorders.
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are the two leading chronic respiratory diseases worldwide, and while these two diseases are different sometimes patients visiting our in Woodridge, Lombard, and Lemont, IL, doctors show symptoms of both conditions. After all, those who are smokers, ex-smokers or older adults are more likely to deal with both asthma and COPD.
What is asthma?
Asthma is a long-term condition that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways that makes it difficult to breathe. Those with asthma may deal with persistent coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath that is triggered by cold, stress, exercise, smoking, etc.
What is COPD?
COPD may refer to chronic bronchitis (a chronic cough that produces mucus) or emphysema (a condition that damages the lungs), both of which make it difficult to breathe. Smokers are more likely to develop COPD. Symptoms of COPD include,
- Needing to clear your throat every morning due to mucus
- A chronic, mucus-producing cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness
- Unexpected weight loss
- Swelling in the feet or legs
How do you treat COPD and asthma?
COPD is progressive, meaning that it can get worse over time. If you are dealing with symptoms of COPD or asthma it’s important that you see a physician right away. Untreated asthma could lead to serious and potentially life-threatening flare-ups.
Asthma can be properly controlled with:
- Lifestyle changes (e.g. quitting smoking; avoiding triggers; using a HEPA air filter)
- Increasing aerobic exercise
- Monitoring lung function at home
- Taking a long-term daily inhaler to reduce inflammation
- Taking a short-acting inhaler when you feel symptoms of an attack flaring up
Since lung damage caused by COPD is permanent it’s important to see a doctor right away for treatment. COPD treatments include:
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding exposure to outdoor pollutants
- Using supplemental oxygen
- Using corticosteroids, beta-blockers or bronchodilators to improve breathing
- Pulmonary rehab that includes creating nutritional, medical and exercise treatment plans
Woodridge Clinic has offices in Woodridge, Lombard and Lemont, IL. If you are dealing with asthma or COPD and want to discuss more effective treatment strategies to help you breathe better than call our office today to schedule an evaluation.