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What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease? The doctor said my husband has copd. What is that and how is it treated?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Shahid Rafique
Internal Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Chronic lung disease

In a nutshell COPD is the chronic condition of the airways in the lungs that are chronically "smothering" resulting in decrease in the airway lumen (wheezin), excessive secretions (phlegm) and disturbance in gas exchange beween the lungs and blood.
Usually COPD is associated with cigarette smoking. It is a serious and progressive condition that can be life threatening.

In brief: Chronic lung disease

In a nutshell COPD is the chronic condition of the airways in the lungs that are chronically "smothering" resulting in decrease in the airway lumen (wheezin), excessive secretions (phlegm) and disturbance in gas exchange beween the lungs and blood.
Usually COPD is associated with cigarette smoking. It is a serious and progressive condition that can be life threatening.
Dr. Shahid Rafique
Dr. Shahid Rafique
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Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine

In brief: COPD

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
It is usually related to lifelong smoking-related lung damage, but can in rarer cases be caused by other lung diseases. One of the main problems in COPD is chronic narrowing of the airways that hinders the airflow in and out of the lungs during breathing. Additionally, damaged lung tissue contributes to impaired gas exchange resulting eventually in poor oxygenation and reduced ability of our lungs to increase their capacity with exercise. The "obstructive" part of the name in COPD really refers to the fact that airflow in and out of the lungs is not normal, and with simple measurements we can detect if there is "obstruction" to airflow. COPD is primarily treated by stopping the underlying cause, which is in most cases is smoking cigarettes. There are medicines, most commonly inhaled medications such as albuterol and atrovent (ipratropium) which help to "dilate" or open up narrowed airways making it much easier to breathe. Other medications that can help in preventing or treating COPD exacerbations, or worsening of symptoms, include inhaled or oral corticosteroids. Other treatments exist for more severe forms of copd, which you should talk to your pulmonologist about.

In brief: COPD

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
It is usually related to lifelong smoking-related lung damage, but can in rarer cases be caused by other lung diseases. One of the main problems in COPD is chronic narrowing of the airways that hinders the airflow in and out of the lungs during breathing. Additionally, damaged lung tissue contributes to impaired gas exchange resulting eventually in poor oxygenation and reduced ability of our lungs to increase their capacity with exercise. The "obstructive" part of the name in COPD really refers to the fact that airflow in and out of the lungs is not normal, and with simple measurements we can detect if there is "obstruction" to airflow. COPD is primarily treated by stopping the underlying cause, which is in most cases is smoking cigarettes. There are medicines, most commonly inhaled medications such as albuterol and atrovent (ipratropium) which help to "dilate" or open up narrowed airways making it much easier to breathe. Other medications that can help in preventing or treating COPD exacerbations, or worsening of symptoms, include inhaled or oral corticosteroids. Other treatments exist for more severe forms of copd, which you should talk to your pulmonologist about.
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Thank
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