Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Overview

Another name for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease is COPD.

What is COPD?
COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Most people with COPD have damage to the air passageways in the lungs, usually caused by smoking. Additional causes include long-term occupational exposure to dust, fumes, and smoke. COPD can cause chronic bronchitis, which damages the larger bronchial tubes, or emphysema, which damages the air sacs in the lungs.

What are the symptoms of COPD?
The damage from COPD causes a persistent cough, wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing.

How does the doctor treat COPD?
The treatment for COPD may include bronchodilator medications to reverse wheezing, inhaled corticosteroids, oral corticosteroids, antibiotics, home oxygen therapy, and chest physiotherapy.

Continue to Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease References
  1. Celli BR, Thomas NE, Anderson JA, Ferguson GT, Jenkins CR, Jones PW, Vestbo J, Knobil K, Yates JC, Calverley PM. Effect of pharmacotherapy on rate of decline of lung function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: results from the TORCH study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008 Aug 15;178(4):332-8. Epub 2008 May 29. [18511702]
  2. Doherty DE, Briggs DD Jr. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: epidemiology, pathogenesis, disease course, and prognosis. Clin Cornerstone. 2004;Suppl 2:S5-16. [15500179]
  3. Ebell MH. Systemic corticosteroids for acute exacerbations of COPD. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Aug 1;72(3):437-8. [16100857]
  4. Kerstjens H, Postma D, Ten Hacken N. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Clin Evid. 2004 Jun;(11):2003-30. [15652094]
  5. Weder MM, Donohue JF. Role of bronchodilators in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2005 Apr;26(2):221-34. [16088439]
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