Understanding and Treating COPD

Baptist Health Madisonville: Understanding and Treating COPD

Pulmonologist Stacey Miller, MD, with Baptist Health Medical Group Pulmonary & Critical Care, describes the risk factors and symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, explaining options for prevention and treatment, including using a bronchodilator.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Miller, call Baptist Health Medical Group Pulmonary & Critical Care at 270.326.3800.

Understanding and Treating COPD Health Talks Transcript

Stacey Miller, MD, Pulmonary Care
COPD is a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It’s a common, preventable and treatable disease that is consistent with progressive respiratory symptoms. It’s typically thought of as a combination of chronic bronchitis, which are the respiratory symptoms, as well as emphysema, which is the actual damage to the lung that’s due to inhalation exposure. The primary risk factor is tobacco smoke, including secondhand smoke, but there can be other risk factors that include inhalation exposures to fumes, chemicals, dust or even air pollution. Genetics are also a risk factor, even if you’ve never smoked.

Charles Lowery, Madisonville, Kentucky
I started smoking when I was 18, and I’m almost 45 now. I was feeling run down. I felt like my breathing was off. I was having a hard time gasping for air.

Dr. Miller
COPD is not curable, but there are treatments available. Depending on your lung function, your doctor may recommend that you start an inhaled treatment called a bronchodilator, which actually relaxes the muscles around the airwaves and can relieve symptoms. Depending on the severity of the COPD, you may take a bronchodilator daily or just as needed. Because COPD is so prevalent and is a treatable disease, it’s important that patients have access to physicians and programs like at Baptist to help them with both smoking cessation, but also symptom control.

Now I can go up and downstairs, no problems. Dr. Miller’s really helped me.

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