November brings people together to give greater visibility to a chronic disease affecting millions nationwide.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD makes breathing difficult for the 16 million Americans who have this disease. Millions of people suffer from COPD, but have not been diagnosed and are not being treated. Although there is no cure for COPD, it can be treated.
Symptoms of COPD include:
- Chronic cough (also known as smoker’s cough).
- Chronic phlegm production.
- Shortness of breath while doing things you used
to be able to do.
- Not being able to take a deep breath.
Tobacco use is the primary cause of COPD in the United States, but air pollutants at home (such as secondhand
smoke and some heating fuels) and at work (such as dust, gases, and fumes), and genetic predisposition also can
Prevention and Treatment
For current smokers, smoking cessation is essential for preventing COPD, according to the CDC. Experts explain that eliminating exposure to tobacco smoke and other environmental pollutants are also important. While there is no cure for COPD, treatment is available to manage the symptoms that are caused by COPD and improve the quality of life. Treatment options include medication (such as inhalers), pulmonary rehabilitation, physical activity training, and oxygen treatment.
Trinity Hospital’s experienced cardiopulmonary staff offers supervised rehab programs to help people with chronic breathing problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The hospital also helps patients recover from heart attacks, heart surgery, and procedures such as stenting and angioplasty. The rehab programming provides education to help patients increase physical fitness, reduce cardiac symptoms and breathing problems, improve health, and reduce the risk of future problems, including heart attack.
Trinity’s cardiac and pulmonary rehab programs are offered in a group setting tailored to the patient’s needs, and we monitor heart rate and blood pressure during physical activity. Later, patients are able to work up to more intense aerobic activity on a treadmill or exercise bike. We provide patients with the support and training they need to return to work or their normal activities and to manage their heart or breathing condition.
Schedule an Appointment
If your doctor has recommended cardiac or pulmonary rehab, our staff is ready to assist you with the best care available. For more information about our rehab services, call us at 740-922-2800, x2270.