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Pulmonary Care & Treatment at Washington Township Medical Foundation

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is actually a term used to describe a group of conditions that impair breathing by affecting the lungs and blocking airflow. COPD is a progressive disease, which means that it can become steadily worse, causing increased breathlessness. The most common COPD conditions are emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Some of the symptoms of COPD include:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tight chest

Do I Have COPD?

About 30 million people in the United States have COPD—but at least half of them don’t know it. Many people think that the breathlessness and coughing they are experiencing is simply part of the aging process. For this reason, many people do not receive an accurate diagnosis of their condition for a long time. COPD can cause irreparable damage, but treatment can be helpful. Shortness of breath is actually an advanced symptom of COPD. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, talk with your doctor as soon as possible.

In the United States, far and away the most common cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. About 9 in 10 COPD sufferers are current or former smokers. Other factors include exposure to pollutants—including secondhand smoke—as well as exposure to chemicals and fumes. There is also a genetic factor. Some people who have never smoked or been exposed to pollutants can develop COPD due to a genetic predisposition.

Related Locations
  • Internal Medicine & Infectious Diseases - Mowry Multi-Specialty Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Infectious Diseases, Pulmonary Medicine, Immigration Physicals
    2557 Mowry Ave.
    Fremont, CA 94538
    (510) 248-1550
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