Baptist Health Richmond: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Hospitalist Roshan Pais, MD, explains how quitting smoking and living a healthier lifestyle can help prevent COPD and describes diagnosis and treatment of the condition.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Health Talks Transcript
Roshan Pais, MD, Hospitalist
COPD is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that basically causes limitation of airflow. Symptoms of COPD include exertional shortness of breath, which means shortness of breath on activity, coughing, and production of phlegm. Infections do not cause COPD, but they can bring about the COPD exacerbations. The most important cause of COPD is cigarette smoking, tobacco smoking. Smoking is responsible for 80 percent of COPD. Diagnosis of COPD is clinical, done using lung function tests. There is no blood test for COPD. It is diagnosed with a clinical suspicion by a trained physician and then through the lung function tests, which is called spirometry. The mainstay or cornerstone of the treatment is quitting smoking. Other treatments include medical therapy, vaccinations, and lung rehab. The medications used for COPD include: breathing treatments, oxygen, antibiotics, steroids. Healthier lifestyle improves COPD. That includes exercise, eating healthier and smoking cessation.