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Take Hold of Your COPD

COPD story imageChronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. It includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and in some cases, asthma.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, tobacco smoke is a key factor in the development and progression of COPD, although exposure to air pollutants in the home and workplace, genetic factors and respiratory infections also play a role. Early screening can identify COPD before major loss of lung function occurs.

Fifteen million Americans report that they have been diagnosed with COPD, and more than 50 percent of adults with low pulmonary function were not aware that they had COPD; therefore, the actual number may be higher. The following groups were more likely to report COPD:

The COPD Foundation lists some of the following symptoms that may occur for people with COPD:

You should talk with your doctor and schedule a thorough evaluation if you have any breathing difficulty. COPD may be treatable if caught early.

JFK Medical Center recognizes National Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week to help bring attention to the people who contribute to enhancing the lives of our patients living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and help them breathe a little easier. Not only does the Johnson Rehabilitation Institute (JRI) have professionals trained to treat patients rehabilitating from COPD, but JFK also has a Respiratory Therapy Department that treats babies to adults who suffer from breathing abnormalities or rely on ventilation equipment. Its licensed respiratory therapists assist in the diagnosis, treatment, management and preventive care of patients diagnosed with chronic lung conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema, as well as heart disease; and they provide a referral service for respiratory home care equipment. JFK’s Center for Behavioral Health can also assist with your smoking cessation needs.

And look to www.jfkmc.org  to find a doctor to best meet your needs.