Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Symptoms and Treatments
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Our Approach to TreatmentHouston Methodist pulmonologists offer the latest medical and surgical interventions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a serious and potentially deadly lung disease that gradually develops. Ultimately, COPD irreversibly damages your airways and lungs.
Our pulmonology specialists, however, can reduce COPD symptoms and improve the overall quality of our patients’ lives. We individualize COPD treatments based on your symptoms and other existing conditions. Our experts regularly prescribe pulmonary rehabilitation to help patients regain limited function.
Physicians practicing at Houston Methodist Hospital were the first in Texas to achieve minimally invasive lung volume reduction with coils and valves placed into the airways by a flexible camera, called a bronchoscope. As a last resort, pulmonologists can refer patients to Houston Methodist’s transplant program.
The Houston Methodist Lung Center in the Texas Medical Center offers a single center of expertise for the diagnosis and management of complex COPD.
DefinitionCOPD is a lung disease caused by chronic airway obstruction that makes breathing difficult. It is often a combination of emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and many patients will experience symptoms of both.
- Cigarette smoking
- Long-term exposure to lung irritants such as air pollution, occupational fumes and second-hand tobacco smoke
SymptomsCOPD symptoms depend on the cause of obstruction, but often include:
- Frequent coughing (with or without mucus)
- Chest tightness
- Spirometry is the main pulmonary function test used to formally diagnose COPD. This simple, non-invasive test may detect the earliest signs of COPD even before obvious symptoms are apparent.
- Chest X-rays
- Lifestyle modifications, including smoking cessation and immunizations against influenza and pneumonia
- Inhaled medications
- Supplemental oxygen
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
- Lung volume reduction interventions
- Lung transplant
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