Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is a broad term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. Symptoms of COPD include increase breathlessness, frequent coughing, wheezing, and tightness in the chest. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease affects roughly 24 million people in the United States. Like many diseases, early detection is key. Identifying COPD in its early stages can help reduce major loss of lung function.
COPD is caused by various risk factors; the leading risk factor being smoking as well as second-hand smoke. Harmful fumes, chemicals and dust in the workplace are also contributing factors for those who develop COPD. Genetics can also play a role in the development of COPD, even if you have never smoked or experienced exposure to lung irritants.
One of the best ways to prevent COPD is to stop smoking. If you are not a current smoker, don’t start. You also want to avoid exposure to second-hand smoke as well as dangerous fumes and dust. Additionally, you can work with others in your community to help clean up the air quality in your area.
If you are concerned that you may be at risk for developing COPD, Frederick Memorial Hospital’s professional staff and certified technicians and technologists are here to help you learn more. One of the first steps in diagnosing COPD is conducting a Pulmonary Function Test. This test measures how well the lungs function including the rate of air flow and volume of air exhaled. The Pulmonary Function Test can also detect the presence of other respiratory diseases. To schedule your Pulmonary Function Test with Frederick Memorial Hospital call 240-566-3400 or ask your doctor if you should schedule a Pulmonary Function Test.
Early detection is integral to the successful treatment of COPD. The FMH Pulmonary Rehab Program is a wonderful tool designed to help patients with COPD and other lung diseases. The primary goals of Pulmonary Rehabilitation are to help patients control symptoms, improve their daily living activities and restore their ability to function independently.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with COPD, there are several support groups available. Locally, the Better Breathers Club of Frederick meets every other month to help offer support for those with COPD or other chronic lung diseases, their loved ones, and their caregivers. To learn more about the Better Breathers Club of Frederick, call 240-566-3622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Event: The Better Breathers Club of Frederick is hosting an event on Wednesday, July 16th from 5:30-7:00 PM at the FMH Crestwood Conference Center. For more information or to pre-register please call 240-566-3622 or email email@example.com. Click here for more information.