Primary Care Doctor located in Hampstead, NC

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.  This is another way to say that it is a condition where your lungs do not function well anymore.  Other words or names for this condition include emphysema or asthma.  The most common cause of COPD in the US is smoking.  People can also develop COPD from exposure to secondhand smoke, or from asthma which they usually develop in childhood.  

There are lots of great treatments for COPD.  This is usually not a disease which can be completely cured.  The goals of treatment are to improve your symptoms so that your remaining lung function will be stable (not getting worse) and so that your feel good enough from a breathing standpoint to have a normal life and do all the activities that you want to do.

If you are having trouble with your breathing, come see Doctor Manning and Holly Kilian, FNP, at Hampstead Internal Medicine.  We can take a history and do a physical exam.  Based on this we may need to perform lung function tests or X-rays or blood tests to determine the cause of your shortness of breath.  Once we determine the underlying cause we can prescribe therapy to help you breath better and feel better.  

COPD Question and Answer

Are COPD and emphysema the same thing?

Technically, in doctor speak, no, they are not.  However, in practical application, yes, the patients we used to say have emphysema, now we usually say they have COPD. Doctors tend to say "COPD" now instead of plain emphysema.  Both terms generally mean a patient has lung damage and suboptimal lung capacity.  

Do patients with COPD require oxygen?

Most patients with COPD do not require oxygen.  There is a pretty simple way to test for blood oxygen levels now, with a simple device which goes on your finger.  It is important to test at rest and also when walking or being active.  If you do require oxygen, the doctors at Hampstead Internal Medicine will work with your insurance company and a provider to get oxygen set up in your home.  We can also set up oxygen concentraters or portable oxygen.

What are the treatments for COPD?

There are lots of great treatments for COPD, so if you are limited by your breathing please do not hesitate to see a doctor.  The first and best treatment is to stop smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.  If you are struggling to stop smoking that is ok.  It is really hard to quit.  Come and see your doctor and talk about ways to quit.  Other therapies for COPD include pulmonary rehab to help strengthen your lungs and body, inhalers or breathing treatments, oxygen, and treatment of other conditions like heart disease or blood pressure.