Dr. Gloria Mendizabal-Piedra MD

(305) 823-2433

3986 W. 16 Avenue | Hialeah, FL 33012

What is COPD and How is it Treated?


COPD, otherwise known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a continuous disease of the lungs that makes it difficult to breathe. COPD is a disease that is progressive, meaning that it only gets worse over time. It was estimated in 2010 that more than 14 million people were identified as having COPD. It was also determined that another 12 million have the disease but have remained undiagnosed. 

What Causes COPD?

What is COPD and what causes it? The cause of COPD is long-term exposure to respiratory irritants. Any substances that can cause inflammation or other reactions to your lungs, mouth, nose, larynx, and trachea could be a cause. The most common irritation that causes it is cigarette smoke. Pipes, cigars, Juuls, vapes, and other types of tobacco smoke can cause COPD. Breathing in secondhand smoke or being exposed to chemicals fumes or dust in an area can also contribute to COPD. If you have asthma, you could develop COPD, because it inflames and narrows the airways. 

What Is the Difference Between COPD and Emphysema? 

The leading causes of all forms of COPD, as well as Emphysema, are environmental. Both symptoms for COPD and Emphysema take some time to appear. With Emphysema, the walls of the air sacs become destroyed, creating just enough space to hold air instead of many small ones. The bronchial tubes split into thousands of more minor pathways called bronchioles during COPD, making it difficult to breathe with less air flowing through the airways. The symptoms of COPD & Emphysema typically take time to appear but can cause significant damage to your lungs:

what is copd

With CBD & Emphysema, you may experience:

  • shortness of breath and tightness in the chest 
  • Wheezing or whistling sounds in your chest
  • Chronic cough that may produce a discolored mucus
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • And much more 

Are There Treatments for COPD? 

There is neither a cure for COPD nor any form of it, including Emphysema. But treatment can slow down the progression of COPD and manage some of your symptoms. Medical treatments for COPD include medical, surgical, and therapeutic intercessions. With Medical treatments, your options include Bronchodilators, steroids, and antibiotics. For something more therapeutic, your doctor may recommend pulmonary therapy and rehabilitation. A respiratory therapy program is a way you could learn new ways to improve your breathing and ability to exercise. Surgery that could enhance your quality of life from symptoms of the disease includes lung transplants, lung volume reduction, and Bullectomy. A diagnosis of COPD carries a five-year life expectancy range from 40 percent to 70 percent, depending on the severity of your disease. 

Learn More About Your Options

If you think you’re experiencing any symptoms that may be related to COPD, it is essential to see a trusted doctor. To learn more about what you’re experiencing, and to get correctly diagnosed, request an appointment today with an experienced doctor at GMP Medical.

June 20, 2019 6:25 pm
Categories: Family Health