Parker County Today August 2017 - Page 41

or CT scan can suggest the diagnosis, but pulmonary function tests are needed to be certain. Breathe Easy Early diagnosis, treatment key to COPD management By: Pavan Irukulla, MD, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine C an’t seem to catch your breath? Huffing and puffing after your daily exercise? Is that rumbling cough becoming more and more frequent? Shortness of breath and decreased cardiovascular fitness are often attributed to being out of shape or “just getting old.” Don’t be so quick to dismiss breathing difficulties — they may signal the onset of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a serious respiratory condition. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common respiratory diseases – and it is the third rank cause of death in the United States, killing more than 120,000 individuals each year. COPD is a commonly overlooked health threat that goes undiagnosed, because the symptoms are often dismissed or attributed to other health conditions until the disease is at an advanced stage. COPD has no cure, but is both preventable and treatable. The two main forms of COPD are emphysema, the destruction of the airways in the lungs which leads to decreased oxygen absorption; and chronic bronchitis, the inflammation of the lungs’ airways and build-up of mucus that causes breathing obstruction. The decreased ability of the lungs to absorb and use oxygen causes arteries in the lungs to narrow. This means that the heart has to work even harder to push blood through the smaller vessels, which can lead to pulmonary hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs) and possibly heart failure. Symptoms of COPD:  A cough with mucus  Shortness of breath that gets worse with mild activity  Fatigue or inability to exercise  Frequent respiratory infections  Wheezing  Tightness in the chest If you have any of these symptoms, bring them to your doctor’s attention. COPD most commonly affects current and former smokers, women and individuals over age 45. It affects the quality of life by severely compromising the ability to breathe, which leads to decreased physical activity and increased risk for other chronic diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer. To learn more, visit website at www. lungandsleepspecialists.com; click on “PULMONARY MEDICINE,” “Conditions,” and “COPD,”. Contact us today for an appointment at 817-594-9993 to assess your lung health or learn more about our rehabilitation therapy offerings for COPD patients. COPD affects more than 15.7 million Americans. More than 50% of adult were not aware that they had COPD. The actual number may be higher. About the Author: Pavan Irukulla, MD, earned his medical degree from Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India. He then completed his Masters of Public Health from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. He then went on to do his residency in Internal Medicine from Scranton Temple Residency Program in Scranton, Pennsylvania and subsequently practiced for 5 years as an internist. His passion in pulmonary diseases and critical care medicine drove him to New York City to pursue his training at Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York. He is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians and Texas Medical Association. He is currently accepting new patients. Please call 817-594-9993. To find a physician close to you, visit Weatherford Regional Medical Center’s online Physician Directory at WeatherfordRegional.com/Physicians Diagnosis COPD can be diagnosed with a simple lung test, known as ձ䁙չѥ)ѕЁȁɽ丁Q́ѕЁɕ́ѡ)չЁ݅䁽Սѥѡչ)䁍ձѥѡɍٽյ)ѡЁѥЁᡅٕ́ȁѥѕɥ)́́ѕЁѼչ)坕ѡāѥͥ)ٕ́ͼѥѕѥ)Ʌ䰁ɑɅɽɑɅ)AݥѠ =A͡ձ٥)ЁѥAյم)Յԁمͥѡ䁅ɔɽ)Ѽѥ́ɽԁյ)I͕ɍ́չѡЁՅ)مՅɕՍ͕́ɥ́)Ѡ =Aѥ́ɍи)Ʌ坥́ͼха)ѼɕٕЁɵ́ѡѠɽ)ٕѼɔ͕ɥ́ѥ̸)Qɥ䁍͔ =Áѽ)ѼɍЁ =Á͕ɔ͕)͵ =Aͼ͕)ȁѥՑ͕͵)ɔѼѥа̰)́ѽ᥌յ̤ѡ)ɕɅѽ䁥ѥ̸Aݡݽɬ)ȁٔݽɭɥ٥ɽ)ɔͼЁɥͬAȁɥѥѡ)ɕЁɕɅѽ䁥ѥ́ٔ)ͼѼ =Aٕи)ѥ́ͼ䁄ɽ)٥ՅéٕЁ =AQٕ)ѡͽٕ́ȁ͵ȁ)ٕȁ͕Ѽɽչɥх)ѡݽɭ āѥͥ)䀡Q́ѡЁ)ݸѥɥͬѽȁȁ͕)I͕ɍ́͡ݸѡЁѡɥͬ)ٕ =ÁͽѕݥѠݕ)Սѥ̸ٕ)ٔѡ́́ՔѼѽ́Ս)ɥѥٕɍɽݑȁѥ)1չѥ́ɱ䁱ѡ)ݡ͵ɔѡȁхЁɥͬѽ)ȁ =Áݕ)Qɕѵ) =Aɕѕ͕ٕɅ̰݅)ɽѥѼх坕)ѼMɝ丁Aձɕхѥ)х͕ɽɅѡЁ)Սѥɍ͔͕̰) =Aѥ́ɽٔչչѥ)ɕՍѽ̸(