Temecula Valley Primary Care Physicians
Primary Care Physicians located in Temecula, CA
Are you experiencing shortness of breath, fatigue, or frequent respiratory infections? These signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be treated at Temecula Valley Primary Care Physicians in Temecula, California. COPD can make daily activities difficult and may lead to complications if not treated properly. The doctors at Temecula Valley Primary Care Physicians have more than 30 years of experience helping people live better with COPD. Call or schedule a consultation online today to learn more.
COPD Q & A
What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic lung condition that makes it hard to breathe. It can also include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD occurs when the air pathways in your lungs become thick and inflamed, destroying the cells that allow for oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange.
Without the ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, you have less oxygen and more carbon dioxide circulating in your bloodstream. This causes shortness of breath, so physical activity becomes difficult over time.
What causes COPD?
In 85-90% of cases, COPD is caused by cigarette smoking. Cigarettes are made with more than 7,000 chemicals that narrow air passages in your lungs, swell air tubes, destroy the lung sacs that hold air, and generally weaken your lungs.
Nonsmokers can develop COPD from exposure to air pollution and secondhand smoke and from inhalation of work-related fumes and chemicals over long periods. Otherwise, there are a small number of people that inherit a rare genetic condition that causes COPD.
What are the symptoms of COPD?
Many COPD symptoms are not obvious until the disease has progressed. In addition to shortness of breath, symptoms include:
- Chest tightness
- Chronic cough
- Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Unintended weight loss
- Swelling in legs, ankles, or feet
Since COPD is chronic and gets worse over time, your physical activities may become difficult or impossible due to shortness of breath and discomfort.
What is the process to diagnose COPD?
If your doctor suspects COPD, he will ask about your medical history — including respiratory illnesses — family medical history, your symptoms, any medications you take, and your lifestyle. Your doctor will perform a physical exam -- including listening to your lungs — for any abnormalities.
Additional tests for COPD include spirometry, a chest X-ray, and an arterial blood gas test. Once your doctor has collected this information, he diagnoses your condition and recommends treatment options.
What is the treatment for COPD?
Depending on your diagnosis and the severity of your symptoms, your doctor recommends a personalized treatment plan for you. To reduce your symptoms, your doctor prescribes appropriate medications.
Your doctor can refer you for pulmonary rehabilitation to strengthen your lungs or order supplemental oxygen to help you get enough air.
You can improve your quality of life with COPD through treatment at Temecula Valley Primary Care Physicians. Call or schedule a consultation online today.