Breathing Easier: Understanding COPD and Finding Support at Gulf Coast Health Center
What is COPD?
How Does COPD Affect Your Health?
Causes of COPD
• Smoking: The most common cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. Even secondhand smoke can contribute to the development of this condition.
• Environmental Factors: Prolonged exposure to air pollutants, workplace dust, and chemicals can increase the risk of COPD.
• Genetic Factors: Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to developing COPD, especially if they have a history of lung problems in their family.
Symptoms of COPD
• Shortness of Breath: Especially during physical activities.
• Chronic Cough: Producing mucus that may be clear, white, yellow, or green.
• Wheezing: A high-pitched whistling sound while breathing.
• Chest Tightness: A feeling of pressure or heaviness in the chest.
1. Quit Smoking: If you smoke, quitting is the most effective way to slow the progression of COPD.
2. Medication: Your healthcare provider may prescribe bronchodilators or corticosteroids to help manage symptoms.
3. Pulmonary Rehabilitation: This program combines exercise, education, and support to improve lung function and overall well-being.
4. Oxygen Therapy: In some cases, supplemental oxygen may be necessary to help with breathing.