Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease refers to two lung diseases, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The term COPD is used because both diseases cause chronic cough and shortness of breath, making it harder for people to breathe over time.
COPD does not always present itself the same in all patients and treatment options may differ from patient to patient. Most medicine doctors, cardiologists, neurologists and surgeons choose to manage COPD patients with a pulmonologist. Dr. Shetty and your healthcare team will work with you to set up the best plan for you, based upon your symptoms and your needs.
The symptoms include:
- Increased breathlessness
- Frequent coughing (with and without sputum)
- Tightness in the chest
By taking the right medicine at the right time, you can:
- Breathe better
- Do more of the things you want to do
- Have fewer flare-ups
Diagnosis and Treatment
Bronchoscopy is a diagnostic procedure used to look inside the lungs’ airways, called the bronchi and bronchioles. A tube with a tiny camera on the end is inserted through the nose or mouth into the lungs. The procedure provides a view of the airways of the lung and allows doctors to collect lung secretions or tissue specimens (biopsy). Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) is a technique that uses ultrasound along with bronchoscope to visualize airway wall and structures adjacent to it. EBUS has high diagnostic informative value and low risk.
Types of medicines usually prescribed for COPD:
Bronchodilators relax the muscles (bronchi and bronchioles) around the airways. When the airways are more open, it is easier to breathe. Bronchodilators can be inhaled via an inhaler or nebulizer machine that aerosolizes the medications.
Anti-inflammatory medicines help by reducing the swelling and mucus production inside the airways. When that inflammation is reduced, it is easier to breathe.