Ask the Geriatrician
are the most common symptoms of COPD and when should I see my primary care
is short for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
It is a serious lung disease causing one-fourth of all deaths in the United
States. It is usually preventable and most always treatable, especially if
detected when it is mild. Unfortunately many people who have COPD do not know
When Should You be
Concerned about the Possibility You Have COPD?
If you smoke or have
ever smoked, you should be alert for symptoms of COPD. Also, various inhaled
gases and particles (exposure to second-hand smoke or the smoke from other
people smoking, chronic exposure to dusts/gases in the workplace) can cause
What Are the Symptoms
to Watch for?
There are two main
- A cough productive of mucous that lasts for more
than 2-3 months.
- Shortness of breath either just sitting or with
physical activity that is worse than you expect (given your physical
If you have either
symptom AND have a past history of smoking or exposures as listed above, talk
to your family doctor. There is a simple way - PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTING - to
detect COPD, even in its early stage. And the earlier it is detected, the more
helpful treatment can be.
D.O., is a physician who specializes in family medicine and geriatrics. He has
offices in Media and Crum Lynne, and can be reached at (610) 499-7180.
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