home
RSS
March 16th, 2011
10:30 AM ET

What should I expect after COPD diagnosis?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

Question asked by Pamela of Nashville, Tennessee:

I just learned that I have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema. Can you tell me about it and what the prognosis is? I also have coronary artery disease and have had stents placed.

Expert answer:

Dear Pamela,

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a disease that truly negatively affects quality of life. Patients with COPD are prone to asthma-like wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing that can occur in episodes caused by chromic inflammation. They're also prone to viral and bacterial infections.

It is the fourth most common cause of death in the United States, killing an estimated 120,000 people each year.

While COPD is most noted for episodes of shortness of breath and wheezing, the disease is typically slowly progressive and persistent. Medical treatment can be successful in relieving symptoms and reducing the severity of exacerbations.

Treatment is with inhaled bronchodilators, steroids to reduce inflammation and other oral medications.

Breathing problems? Check them with this test

Early diagnosis and good treatment are important as they can reduce the number and severity of exacerbations and prolong survival. Some people can live with this condition for several decades.

More than 80% of patients with COPD have a history of cigarette smoking. A few patients have it because of chemical inhalation exposure. Most are overweight or obese. Weight loss can also occur in severe COPD and is a sign of severe disease with a poor prognosis.

At one time, we distinguished different types of COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. All patients with COPD have an element of each, although one component will usually predominate in the individual patient.

Chronic bronchitis is defined by a chronic cough that produces sputum. Emphysema is defined by enlargement and destruction of the airspaces in the lung.

When the physician examines a patient with very severe COPD one finds decreased breath sounds, wheezes, crackles at the lungs, and distant heart sounds. The patient's diaphragm in limited in movement, meaning the patient cannot take in deep breaths. In extremely severe disease, the chest size is increased.

Patients lean forward to use all the muscles of the chest and neck to bring air in. COPD can progress to cause heart failure, as the right side of the heart cannot pump blood into the damaged lungs.

Could your job be hurting your lungs?

Physicians use pulmonary function tests to assess the severity of COPD. These are tests to measure how fast it take a patient to fully exhale air, how much air he can exhale in one second, how much air he can inhale. X-ray and especially CT scans can also be used to assess damage to the lungs.

The arterial blood gases are a series of blood tests to determine how much oxygen and carbon dioxide is in the blood. As the disease worsens oxygenation goes down and carbon dioxide levels rise. Blood gas abnormalities acutely worsen during COPD exacerbations and often worsen during exercise and sleep.

Because most patients have a significant smoking history, most patients have many of the other illnesses associated with smoking, especially cardiovascular disease. These patients also have high risk for smoking related malignancies.

Unfortunately, poor lung function often interferes with or prevents treatment of the other diseases.

 


soundoff (2,928 Responses)
  1. Conrad Burkly

    I'm really inspired with your writing skills as neatly as with the format on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it's rare to peer a great blog like this one nowadays..|

    https://www.primusov.net/index.php?page=3382

    April 27, 2021 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Harold Miller

    We are a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with useful information to work on. You've done a formidable task and our entire group can be thankful to you.|

    http://descendantsgame.com/forum/index.php/topic/129-myrfsdfydanindbtjclilmr/page-2882

    April 27, 2021 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Carolyn Keast

    It's amazing to go to see this web page and reading the views of all mates regarding this piece of writing, while I am also zealous of getting knowledge.|

    https://meetyiwu.com/2019/03/30/building-a-gimbal-in-rust-an-introduction/

    April 27, 2021 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. canadian customs pills vitamins

    canadian pharmacies ed pills https://canadapillstorex.com/ average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian?

    April 27, 2021 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. canadian pills online

    average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian? https://canadapillstorex.com/ canadian pills pharmacy

    April 27, 2021 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Ferdinand Stefl

    Hey! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the superb work!|

    http://bioimagingcore.be/q2a/index.php?qa=user&qa_1=lodbergjama7

    April 27, 2021 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Amelia Palone

    WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for keyword|

    https://www.loemco.es/index.php/en/component/k2/item/228-hormigon-3?start=2990

    April 27, 2021 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Stefania Schoenborn

    You should take part in a contest for one of the finest blogs on the web. I most certainly will highly recommend this site!|

    http://garagedoorrepairnewbedford.com/index.php/component/k2/item/1-integer-et-neque-neque-suspendisse-vel-diam-vitae-lorem-tincidunt-porta-lorem-vitae?start=394310

    April 27, 2021 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jim Steczo

    I truly love your site.. Great colors & theme. Did you develop this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I'm trying to create my own site and would love to know where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Cheers!|

    https://www.anodoslivestage.gr/about/kostis-maravegias-2/

    April 27, 2021 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Porfirio Rohrs

    Hi there, after reading this amazing article i am as well happy to share my know-how here with friends.|

    http://theglasgowscullery.com/2014/04/16/best-ever-banana-bread/

    April 27, 2021 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Rosalyn Staszak

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on meta_keyword. Regards|

    https://www.gobankingrates.com/money/jobs/nathans-hot-dog-eating-contest-payouts/

    April 27, 2021 at 14:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Toney Tridenti

    Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!|

    http://prlog.ru/analysis/eatfeats.com

    April 27, 2021 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Marc Ten

    A person essentially help to make severely articles I'd state. That is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual post incredible. Fantastic process!|

    https://datnuoctoi.com/s/Future_iPhones_could_boast_scratch-resistant_diamond_like_coatings?l=en

    April 27, 2021 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Raelene Sangi

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the greatest blogs on the internet. I am going to highly recommend this web site!|

    https://servicesplanner.com/blogs/health-insurance-quotes/

    April 27, 2021 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Isiah Ciotti

    When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment. Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service? Cheers!|

    https://www.mondooggi.com/bambini-diritti-occidente/

    April 27, 2021 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Ai Sorells

    I'm curious to find out what blog platform you're using? I'm having some small security problems with my latest website and I'd like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any recommendations?|

    https://wiki.jdranastasia.com/mediawiki/index.php/Utilisateur:RaymonMayorga05

    April 27, 2021 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Claretha Sypher

    It's very trouble-free to find out any matter on web as compared to books, as I found this article at this web page.|

    http://pass-port.fr/component/k2/item/1-fully-responsive-design?tmpl=component&print=1&start=346850

    April 27, 2021 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. is it safe to order cialis from canadian pharmacy

    how safe and reliable are canadian cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ cialis canadian discounts

    April 27, 2021 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. canadian pharmacy cialis without prescription

    canadian pharmacy cialis no prescription https://canadacialisstore.com/ how safe and reliable are canadian cialis

    April 27, 2021 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. iiAFIwWFok

    pictures of a boy doing his homework essay buy literature review on birth order and personality sports science dissertation help

    April 28, 2021 at 01:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. jPqQdYXekW

    dissertation editing service uk importance of law and order essay henry viii primary homework help engineering homework help

    April 28, 2021 at 02:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. cialis canadian

    canadian pharmacy cialis without prescription https://canadacialisstore.com/ buy generic cialis, canadian

    April 28, 2021 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. cvs men's sexual health supplements

    discount erectile medication https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ top erectile dysfunction medication

    April 28, 2021 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. viagra without a doctor prescription in canada

    best viagra pills 25 mg canada pharmarcy https://canadaviagrastore.com/ order generic viagra online canada

    April 28, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. cialis canadian pharmacy

    do you need prescription for canadian prescription of cialis in usa https://canadacialisstore.com/ canadian pharmacy cialis without prescription

    April 28, 2021 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. sildenafil pills in india

    sildenafil price usa https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ buy sildenafil uk

    April 28, 2021 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. buy sildenafil in usa

    sildenafil cost https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil 100mg uk cheapest

    April 28, 2021 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. avanafil

    avanafil dosing avana tabs

    April 28, 2021 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. mens ed pills

    erectile at 43 https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile

    April 28, 2021 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. kgf

    Hi there, I discovered your web site by the usse of Google while looking for a comparablle matter, your web
    site got here up, it seemss good. I have bookmarked itt in myy google bookmarks.

    Hi there, simply become aware of your weblog turough Google, and found that it's really informative.
    I am going to be careful for brussels. I'll be grateful in the event you
    continue this in future. Lots of other folkks will likely be benefited out of your writing.
    Cheers!

    April 28, 2021 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Coy Moroz

    Hi! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the fantastic work!|

    http://www.sigeodrilling.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=11:the-single-way-road&Itemid=232&limitstart=780

    April 28, 2021 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Latosha Blocker

    I am not sure where you're getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for great information I was looking for this info for my mission.|

    https://wikimakemoney.com/2018/06/19/the-ecom-formula-review-is-it-a-scam-6-red-flags-revealed/

    April 28, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Talia Mirchandani

    I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This article posted at this web page is truly good.|

    https://yga.idm.mybluehost.me/j-prince-deads-drake-pusha-t-beef-with-just-a-phone-call/

    April 28, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Mirian Loxtercamp

    I think this is among the most important info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The site style is ideal, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers|

    https://www.newgate.asia/what-we-do

    April 28, 2021 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Leda Gomes

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be interesting to read articles from other authors and use something from other websites. |

    http://www.asiaprocom1.dk/post/2011/06/12/Elektronikproduktion-(EMS).aspx

    April 28, 2021 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Meaghan Milonas

    I am really pleased to read this website posts which includes plenty of helpful information, thanks for providing these kinds of information.|

    https://el-listindiario.com/2019/09/10/grupo-fondo-de-valores-inmobiliarios-obtiene-premio-en-republica-dominicana-7/

    April 28, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Missy Bafford

    Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the awesome works guys I've added you guys to blogroll.|

    https://gaia.am.ub.es/Twiki/bin/view/RecGaia/PrensaGaia

    April 28, 2021 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Scottie Forts

    Right here is the perfect blog for everyone who wishes to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that's been written about for many years. Wonderful stuff, just great!|

    https://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/newsstand/discussion/parker_baseball_is_still_americas_pastime

    April 28, 2021 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Teodoro Dowden

    Hey There. I discovered your weblog using msn. This is a very smartly written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your helpful information. Thank you for the post. I'll definitely return.|

    https://www.waterworxfountains.com/index.php/en/information/contact-us?start=920

    April 28, 2021 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Heriberto Meinders

    It's not my first time to pay a visit this website, i am browsing this web page dailly and get pleasant facts from here all the time.|

    http://www.ignitedelivers.com/media/free-digital-marketing-series-for-business-owners?page=8282

    April 28, 2021 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Louanne Brandle

    You've made some really good points there. I looked on the web for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.|

    https://peoplepill.com/people/bill-russell-1/news/

    April 28, 2021 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. cialis through canadian pharmacies

    canadian pharmacy no perscription generic cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ how safe and reliable are canadian cialis

    April 29, 2021 at 03:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Weldon Bloeser

    It's the best time to make some plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I've read this publish and if I may just I wish to recommend you few fascinating things or tips. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles regarding this article. I desire to read even more issues about it!|

    http://mos.doctorgran.com/index.php/k2/item/149-expose-framework?start=491530

    April 29, 2021 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Caren Clozza

    I got this web page from my buddy who informed me about this site and at the moment this time I am visiting this site and reading very informative articles here.|

    https://www.jwcenter.org/volunteer-3/

    April 29, 2021 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Nolan Spezio

    I like reading through an article that will make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!|

    https://pblibnks26.blogspot.com/2020/09/109.html

    April 29, 2021 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Katerine Damann

    Hi everyone, it's my first visit at this web page, and piece of writing is actually fruitful in support of me, keep up posting these content.|

    http://canaleclima.pt/produtos-canaleclima/item/586-campanha-solius.html?start=235170

    April 29, 2021 at 03:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Adrianna Landacre

    whoah this weblog is magnificent i like studying your posts. Stay up the great work! You know, a lot of persons are searching round for this information, you can help them greatly. |

    https://www.idcrawl.com/ebro-darden

    April 29, 2021 at 03:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Lorene Schnettler

    Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog web site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept|

    https://moegalog.com/148620.html

    April 29, 2021 at 03:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. what is the brand name for the generic drug for viagra in canada

    viagra canada pharmacy https://canadaviagrastore.com/ cheap viagra from canada

    April 29, 2021 at 05:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. sildenafil uk 100mg

    best price for sildenafil 100 mg https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil from mexico

    April 29, 2021 at 05:57 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58

Leave a Reply to Bettie Grenke


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.