Date Assigned to Patient: 9/14/2011
Name of Major Medical Diagnosis: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Definition: COPD is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. "Progressive" means the disease get worse over time. It can cause coughing that produces large amount of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms.
Etiology: Most cases of COPD occur as a result of long-term exposure to lung irritants that damage the lungs and the airways.
In the United States, the most common irritant that causes COPD is cigarette smoke. Pipe, cigar, and other types of tobacco smoke also can cause COPD, especially if the smoke is inhaled.
Breathing in secondhand smoke, …show more content…
Other treatments for COPD may include medicines, vaccines, pulmonary rehabilitation (rehab), oxygen therapy, and surgery. Your doctor also may recommend tips for managing COPD complications.
The goals of COPD treatment include: * Relieving your symptoms * Slowing the progress of the disease * Improving your exercise tolerance (your ability to stay active) * Preventing and treating complications * Improving your overall health
To assist with your treatment, your family doctor may advise you to see a pulmonologist. This is a doctor who specializes in treating people who have lung disorders.
Bronchodilators relax the muscles around your airways. This helps open your airways and makes breathing easier.
Depending on how severe your disease is, your doctor may prescribe short-acting or long-acting bronchodilators. Short-acting bronchodilators last about 4 to 6 hours and should be used only when needed. Long-acting bronchodilators last about 12 hours or more and are used every day.
Most bronchodilators are taken using a device called an inhaler. This device allows the medicine to go right to your lungs. Not all inhalers are used the same way. Ask your health care