Spring 2008
Breathing Well: Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Breathing Well: Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Treats People with COPD

Do you ever feel like you can’t get enough air? Maybe you cough with almost every breath, or have trouble clearing your throat. Could it be Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

COPD is a lung disease that includes both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. A person with COPD has difficulty breathing due to narrowed or blocked airways to the lungs. Over time, air sacs (or alveoli) in the lungs are destroyed and can no longer provide oxygen to the blood. Symptoms include trouble breathing or a cough that won’t go away.

COPD develops gradually, over many years. Smoking is the most common cause of COPD. Other causes include longterm exposure to pollution or second-hand smoke.

There is no cure for COPD, but there are treatments to help. Inhaled medications can open up the airways to ease breathing. Special techniques taught in a pulmonary rehabilitation class can help you manage shortness of breath and improve muscle strength.

"The sooner COPD is detected, the better the results of treatment," says pulmonologist Dmitry Lvovsky, MD. "There are different ways to treat the disease, based on its severity, so it is important to have your symptoms evaluated by a specialist in pulmonary diseases."

For referrals to Bridgeport Hospital physicians specializing in COPD or other pulmonary diseases, please call toll free, 24/7, at 1-888-357-2396 or visit www.bridgeporthospital.com/FindPhysician.

For more information about Respiratory Services at Bridgeport Hospital, visit www.bridgeporthospital.com/Respiratory.