Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Best Treatment for COPD

Monday, 18 October 2010 08:46 AM

Question: What is the best treatment for COPD? I’m 72, and when I get a cold, I wheeze and am short of breath. Are there any exercises that would help? I stopped smoking 30 years ago.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a general term covering numerous disorders that affect the structure and function of the airways and the lung tissue served by these airways. The disease has obstructive features often related to inflammation and scarring that usually lead to varying degrees of impaired lung function. The obstruction occasionally is so severe that oxygen is required.

Most COPD is related to smoking cigarettes. The most common conditions are associated with chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and the effects of untreated asthma and other diseases that lead to scarring if left untreated.

It’s a good thing you stopped smoking, but it sounds like you may have not stopped soon enough. COPD often is treated with inhaled and sometimes oral medications. COPD therapies include bronchodilators and inflammation fighters that are very helpful for most victims. Failure to treat COPD adequately places unnecessary loads on the heart, enough to induce heart failure in some patients.

Pulmonary rehab and medically supervised exercise programs have proved to be very helpful for many COPD victims. In some cases, they allow a reduction of medication and hospital admissions. I strongly support pulmonary rehab programs for COPD patients.

If you think you may have COPD, see your medical doctor for a complete evaluation and treatment plan. Your heart and lungs will thank you.

© HealthDay

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Monday, 18 October 2010 08:46 AM
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