An Insights of COPD Treatment
Diagnosis is the first step towards treatment. And COPD is often misdiagnosed. Sometimes, smokers are told that they have COPD when they may be suffering from less common lung disorders. On the other hand, people with COPD may not be diagnosed until it has reached the advanced stage. For diagnosing the condition, the doctor will check the signs and symptoms you are suffering from, and ask for information about your exposure to lung irritation.
There are several tests to diagnose whether a person is suffering from COPD. The most popular are the pulmonary function tests. These involve the measurement of air that you can inhale and exhale and whether your lungs can deliver the adequate amount of oxygen to the blood. Spirometry is another one of these lung function tests that measure the amount of air that the lungs can hold and the pace at which the lungs can expel air.
A chest X-ray can help in detecting emphysema, which is one of the major causes of COPD. It will help in ruling out other lung issues and heart problems as well. A CT scan of the lungs can also help in determining if the patient suffers from emphysema and decide whether surgery can help in treating COPD.
After being diagnosed with COPD, the patient requires immediate treatments. These include therapy and COPD inhaler medications. Some of the most common medications COPD include bronchodilators, inhaled steroids, and oral steroids. Bronchodilators usually come in the form of inhalers and help in relaxing the airways. It can help in relieving coughing as well as shortness of breath and make breathing easier.
On the other hand, inhaled steroids, which are another COPD inhaler medications, can help in managing the inflammation of the airways and prevent exacerbations. Other options include combination inhalers that have inhaled steroids and bronchodilators. Oral steroids are meant for people suffering from severe as well as acute exacerbation. Antibiotics are also given for respiratory infections, which may include acute bronchitis, influenza, and pneumonia, which can aggravate the symptoms of COPD.
As highlighted, COPD can be managed effectively with expert assistance. Hence, it is essential to consult with your doctor if the condition is suspected.