Quick Facts: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of conditions, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, that limit airflow and cause breathing difficulty. In the United States, tobacco use is a key factor, although pollutants at home or work (second-hand smoke, gas, fumes, etc.) or genetics can also play a role in COPD.

What are the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?

Symptoms of COPD include:

  • Chronic cough
  • Wheezing
  • Chronic phlegm production
  • Shortness of breath while doing things you used to be able to do
  • Difficulty taking a deep breath
  • Lack of energy
  • Frequent respiratory infections

What are the potential complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?

Potential complications of COPD include:

What can I do to help prevent chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?

If you smoke, quitting can be an important first step in preventing or managing COPD. Also, eliminate exposure to tobacco smoke and other environmental pollutants.

What are the treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?

There is no cure for COPD, but various treatments can help people manage it. Treatment options may include:

  • Medication, such as inhalers
  • Oxygen treatment
  • Physical activity
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation

What are the rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the U.S.?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 15 million adults in the United States report a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Millions more may be unaware they have it.

What are the rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Maryland?  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 5.8 percent of Maryland residents report that they have been diagnosed with COPD.

How does Doctors Community Hospital help people who have congestive heart failure?

Our Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is specially designed to help people who have COPD or other chronic lung disorders.  With personalized treatment plans, this team provides the support and education that people need to improve or maintain their health.

Learn more about our Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.