Do you have shortness of breath, chronic cough or trouble performing simple tasks like climbing stairs, grocery shopping or doing laundry? Are you over 40 and smoke or used to smoke? Have you worked or lived around chemicals or fumes? If so, you may be at risk for COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Wright State Physicians joins the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Learn More Breathe Better Campaign® in observance of National COPD Awareness Month this November.
COPD is a serious lung disease that over time makes it difficult to breathe. Now the third leading cause of death in the United States, COPD is estimated to affect 24 million people, yet as many as half remain undiagnosed. Also known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, the disease develops slowly and worsens over time, causing many to dismiss symptoms and delay seeking diagnosis and treatment until COPD is in its late stages.
“We often see symptoms of COPD, such as a chronic cough or shortness of breath, mistaken as a normal sign of aging or being out of shape,” said Glen Solomon, M.D., chair and professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Internal Medicine Residency Program director at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine and Wright State Physicians. “In people who have COPD, the airway tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs are partially blocked, making it hard to breathe.”
Solomon encourages those with symptoms to contact their doctor or health care provider, who can diagnose COPD during a regular office visit with a simple, non-invasive breathing test called spirometry. “While there is no cure for COPD, early diagnosis and treatment can help people with COPD improve their symptoms and quality of life.”
For more information, contact: Cindy Young, Director of Marketing and Communications, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, (937) 775-4839, firstname.lastname@example.org. News is online at http://www.med.wright.edu.