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COPD Diagnosis - Why Early Detection is the Key to a Healthier Life

COPD is a serious and debilitating lung disease; however, early COPD diagnosis is your best bet for living a healthier life. The sooner you doctor begins treating your COPD symptoms, the more successful you will be in living with COPD.

Every year approximately 120,000 people die from COPD making it the third leading cause of death in the United States; therefore, early COPD diagnosis is the key to your doctor's success in treating your COPD.

According to the American Lung Association, over 24 million men and women are affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 12 million of whom have yet to have actually been diagnosed with COPD. Unfortunately, by the time it is apparent that someone has COPD, the disease has often progressed to the point that the symptoms are severe and serious damaged to the lungs has occurred making it more difficult to treat.

The sooner your doctor is able to determine whether you may have COPD, the sooner he or she can develop a treatment program for you to help management your symptoms.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is really an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Since smoking is the number one contributing factor to COPD, many of those who are diagnosed with COPD end up exhibiting signs of both emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Some common COPD signs and symptoms include a chronic mucus filled cough, wheezing and shortness of breath. If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these signs, medical attention should be sought.

If you suspect that you have COPD, you doctor has a number of tests that will help determine if you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Some of the methods and tests include pulse oximetry, a chest x-ray, spirometry, a CT scan, an arterial blood gas test, sputum analysis, pulmonary function test and exercise test.

Once your doctor arrives at his COPD diagnosis, he will develop a pulmonary rehabilitation plan to help alleviate the COPD symptoms you are exhibiting. This rehabilitation plan will include a healthy diet plan, exercise, physical and occupational therapy, education, medication and breathing techniques.

As for medications, your doctor may choose from a variety of medications to treat your symptoms. These medications include antibiotics, nebulizer medicines, bronchodialators and expectorants.

Although there is no cure for COPD, receiving a COPD diagnosis should not be viewed as a death sentence. The earlier your doctor is able to diagnose your situation, the sooner he or she can begin treating your symptoms allowing a return to normalcy in your daily routine.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for guidance from a licensed physician. Never attempt to self-diagnoseFeature Articles, always seek proper medical attention.

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Although COPD is a debilitating, chronic lung disease, it can be treated if early COPD diagnosis is sought from a licensed physician. For more information about COPD signs and symptoms, visit today.

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