COPD

Austin Primary Care Physicians -  - Internist

Austin Primary Care Physicians

Internists located in Austin, TX & Cedar Park, TX

COPD Specialist
The successful management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is about much more than extending life. The compassionate providers at Austin Primary Care Physicians in Austin, Texas, know the dramatic impact COPD can have on both quantity and quality of life and aim to increase quantity while preserving comfort, independence, and components that affect quality of life.

COPD Q & A

What is COPD?

COPD is a term used to describe a group of progressive lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, lung disease, and refractory asthma, all of which make breathing difficult.

What causes COPD?

In most cases, COPD is caused by cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. In some cases, this debilitating disease is the result of exposure to chemical fumes or pollution.

How does COPD cause problems with breathing?

Appropriate oxygen exchange requires the intake of air, which travels through the windpipe and then into airways, bronchial tubes, and alveoli (tiny air sacs that inflate and deflate). In patients with COPD, one of the following restricts the flow of air:

  • The airway produces excessive mucus, making it difficult for air to pass through
  • Walls between alveoli are destroyed
  • Airway walls become inflamed and thick over time
  • Elasticity in the airway and alveoli is decreased

What are the signs and symptoms of COPD?

The most common signs and symptoms of COPD include chest tightness, wheezing, frequent coughing (either dry or with sputum), and breathlessness.

How many patients have this disease?

Approximately 30 million patients are thought to have COPD, only half of whom are diagnosed.

How is COPD treated?

There's no cure for COPD, but treatment can help the patient maintain quality of life despite the disease. Treatment depends on the patient’s medical history, presentation, and treatment goals and varies from one patient to the next. The best way to ensure successful management of COPD is in collaboration with an experienced physician. Treatment may include:

  • Medications
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Pulmonary rehab
  • Surgery

In some cases, palliative care and alternative medicine are used to supplement treatments.

Who treats COPD?

The primary care doctors at Austin Primary Care Physicians have extensive experience and expertise in the management and treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and focus on the whole patient, including both physical and emotional well-being.

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