Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease or COPD is permanent damage to your lungs causing emphysema.
The commonest cause is Smoking tobacco for more than 20 years. However, a lot of patients develop COPD from second hand smoke and occupational exposures such as dust, vapours, chemicals , farming which over the long term can damage the alveoli(small air pockets) in your lungs. Even long standing Asthma can cause COPD especially if the Asthma was not well controlled .
The main symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. Ask yourself these questions to determine of you need spirometry:
Have you been smoking for many years-usually 20+ years?
Do you have frequent bouts of Asthma or Bronchitis?
Do you have a constant cough or lots of sputum(phlegm)?
Do you have a “smoker’s cough” in the mornings?
Do colds last for weeks instead of days?
Do you often feel breathless during normal activities?
It is important to have a test called Spirometry to diagnose the disease. Spirometry can be done in our office or at Orillia Soldiers Memorial. There is an instruction sheet explained to you at the time of booking the procedure.
You will have to blow at least 6 times in to the sprirometer before and after an inhaler is given. You may find it tiring and it makes you cough. Come prepared to make the effort to breath as long and hard as you can for the testing.
Your own doctor will interpret your results and appropriate management.