Disease

What Are Pulmonary Diseases and How Can You Detect Them?

Respiratory illness is a common problem that people in the United States face. According to a study in 2015, 7% of Americans passed away due to chronic respiratory issues. Many people are genetically more likely to experience this type of disease, but other factors such as work, environment, and lifestyle can be just as critical. Pulmonary disease is not an easy thing to get used to, but with the right support and resources, you can move past it and get on with your life. 

As one of the best post-acute facilities in Southern California, we work with patients to reclaim their life from their chronic medical conditions. We’re happy to create this article to educate you on this unfortunate disease, and how you can detect it before it worsens.

What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

COPD is a type of disease that affects the lungs and other parts of our respiratory system. It can be caused by infection, by smoking tobacco, or breathing in secondhand smoke and other forms of air pollution. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an umbrella term that describes several respiratory illnesses like asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, pneumonia, and lung cancer.

According to UnityPoint Health pulmonologist, Jim Meyer, DO, “This disease is generally associated with cigarette smoking. It’s rare to see people with COPD who haven’t been exposed to some sort of smoking. People can experience varying severity levels of COPD. At its most severe, it can cause people difficulty doing everyday activities.” 

Detecting Pulmonary Disease 

At first, you might not notice any now, but as the disease worsens so will its symptoms. The most obvious indication there is a problem is your inability to breathe as easily as you normally would. There are other factors that you should keep an eye out for including:

  • A consistent cough
  • A mucusy cough
  • Wheezing or squeaking when you breathe
  • Frequent colds or flu
  • Low energy
  • Swollen ankles, feet, or legs
  • Loss of weight

You must visit a doctor to discuss your symptoms, medical history, and conduct tests to determine the prognosis. The most common exam is called spirometry, where you breathe into a large tube where a machine will measure how much air is in your lungs and how fast it can be blown out. 

What Treatments are Available for Pulmonary Disease?

While there isn’t a cure for the disease, there are treatments that can be used to ease symptoms and slow the disease. Treatments such as smoking cessation, bronchodilator therapy, and pulmonary rehabilitation are essential in managing respiratory illness.  According to a new study, older adults who receive pulmonary rehabilitation within three months of their hospital discharge for COPD are less likely to die in the coming year. This indicates that partnering with a post-acute care facility can make a difference not only in one’s recovery but longevity. 

South Coast Post Acute Are Premier Rehabilitation Professionals

Our highly trained staff is committed to ensuring the highest standards of care are met for every patient. Our physician-driven programs are designed to meet your individual needs to ensure you manage your chronic condition or recover after your hospital discharge. South Coast Post Acute provides quality rehabilitation therapy to ensure you can cope with pulmonary disease issues. Contact us today to get started on your road to recovery.

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