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COPD Specialist

Northeast Medical, PC -  - Family Medicine

Northeast Medical, PC

Family Medicine & Primary Care Practice located in Amherst, NY & Cheektowaga, NY

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that affects your ability to breathe. At Northeast Medical, PC, with locations in Amherst and Cheektowaga, New York, you receive expert evaluation and treatment for COPD from Tajinderpal Singh, MD, and a team of skilled providers. If you’re suffering from COPD or suspect you may have it, call the office to schedule an appointment or use the online tool.

COPD Q & A

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease obstructs airflow in the lungs. With COPD, you have difficulty breathing and produce a lot of mucus. COPD usually results due to cigarette smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, or exposure to other irritants. 

COPD increases your risk of developing serious conditions, too, such as heart disease and lung cancer. COPD can reduce your quality of life, as simple activities, such as walking and household chores, leave you gasping for breath.

What symptoms suggest I have COPD?

COPD symptoms develop gradually, so when you notice them, the disease has progressed and you’ve already suffered significant lung damage.

Suspect COPD if you have:

  • Chest tightness
  • A chronic mucus-producing cough
  • Shortness of breath, especially when you’re active
  • Lack of energy

Some people have periods where their symptoms flare up more intensely than at other times. Flare-ups can last several days.

What causes COPD?

The primary cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. In fact, 20%-30% of chronic smokers develop the disease. Cigar smoke as well as secondhand smoke, workplace exposure to chemical fumes or smoke, and pollution are also possible causes.

Many people experience emphysema and chronic bronchitis before getting a COPD diagnosis.

How is COPD diagnosed?

Your provider performs a thorough physical exam, reviews your medical history, and assesses your possible exposure to smoking or lung irritants. They may order lung tests to rule out another lung condition and accurately diagnose COPD. These tests include:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Lab tests
  • Arterial blood gas analysis
  • CT scan

These tests can confirm a COPD diagnosis, evaluate your existing lung function, and check for complications, such as cancer.

How is COPD managed?

COPD can’t be cured, but it can be managed. If you’re still smoking cigarettes, stop. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help relax the muscles of your airway so breathing is easier. These medications may be taken orally or inhaled.

You also benefit from supplemental oxygen and pulmonary rehabilitation programs. Your customized program includes lifestyle counseling that includes nutrition advice and exercise training to help restore your quality of life.

To learn more about COPD diagnosis and management, set up an appointment at Northeast Medical, PC. Call the most convenient location or book online.