Learn to Recognize COPD Symptoms
Are you finding yourself tired and breathing a little harder after a trip to the grocery store, a walk up the stairs, or working in the yard? Many people attribute symptoms like these to getting older, but it may be a sign of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD.
What are the signs of COPD and when should you see a doctor?
Seven Signs of COPD
The symptoms below may indicate COPD.
- Shortness of breath, particularly during physical activity
- Frequent coughing, with or without mucus
- Tightness in the chest
- Lack of energy
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Feeling tired
Treatment Can Boost Quality of Life
A diagnosis of COPD doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck at home or unable to participate in activities. There are a variety of treatment options that can help enhance your quality of life.
- Medications may include various types of inhalers or oral medications. Some medications may only be used short-term during a time when COPD symptoms flare up, while others are designed to function as long-term medications.
- Oxygen therapy can make a big difference for some patients. Depending on your individual symptoms, oxygen may only be used while sleeping or during activities. Others may use oxygen all the time. Lightweight, portable units are available to take with you if you are out and about.
- Exercise can actually help increase your energy level. It’s easy to avoid activity due to feeling tired, but this can turn into a downward spiral in which a lack of exercise actually makes your symptoms worse. Your doctor may be able to direct you to an exercise program designed specifically for COPD patients.
When to See a Doctor
If you suspect you have COPD, it’s best to talk to your doctor as soon as you notice symptoms. COPD can be diagnosed and treated by a pulmonologist, a doctor who specializes in diseases of the pulmonary system.
Pulmonary Expertise in Two Locations
A team of board-certified pulmonologists at LeBauer HealthCare see patients at offices in Greensboro and Burlington. These doctors have experience caring for COPD patients and create individualized care plans for each person.