Are You at Risk of Developing COPD?

 In Asthma, Blog, COPD

It is estimated that over 24 million people in the United States have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Over half of these COPD sufferers go undiagnosed. In Colorado, 4.6% of the population has been diagnosed, with many more undiagnosed.

If left untreated, COPD can be fatal. Could you or a loved one be at risk?

What Is COPD?

COPD is actually a general term for different types of chronic lung problems. Common lung diseases included under the term COPD are:

  • Emphysema
  • Asthma (non-reversible)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Various kinds of bronchiectasis.

These conditions need to be identified by a qualified physician or specialist. But there are symptoms to watch out for, especially if you are at risk.

What to Look For

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you could have or be developing COPD:

  • Chronic coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath while engaging in normal daily activities
  • Frequent respiratory illness or infection
  • Blue lips or fingernails
  • Excessive mucus production.

Of course, these symptoms can be related to common colds or allergies. But when they become chronic, something more may be going on. If left untreated, minor annoyances can escalate into serious, life-threatening conditions.

Who Is At Risk?

COPD is usually caused by one of three factors:

  • Polluted inhalants (cigarette smoke, chemicals, pollution)
  • Environmental factors
  • Genetics

Smokers are especially at risk. Research has long established that inhaling smoke—specifically from a cigarette, cigar, or other delivery device—damages lungs and interferes with healthy pulmonary function. If you are a smoker and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, seek medical attention right away. Early detection can help an at-risk smoker to take steps to avoid or treat COPD.

Our COPD Specialists Are Here to Help

Asthma & Allergy Associates in Colorado Springs has a long track record of treating COPD sufferers, helping them to successfully cope with this debilitating and life-threatening disease. With our help, many people in Colorado with COPD have an improved quality of life.

Give us a call right away if you suspect that you or a loved one may have COPD. Relief is just around the corner!

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