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COPD 101: An Overview of the Two Main Types

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is extremely common here in the United States, affecting an estimated 5% of the population. If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with this disease, you may be wondering more about how it works, and how to take care of yourself. Here is a basic overview of COPD and some tips to stay as healthy as possible!

COPD is an umbrella term for a disorder that obstructs the airways or limits the flow of oxygen. People with COPD generally have trouble breathing and experience shortness of breath. Many will require supplemental oxygen in order to have a good quality of life. There are two main types of COPD, which are:

1. Emphysema

This common type of COPD occurs when the air sacs in the lungs become damaged, causing enlargement, and potential bursting of these sacs. This prevents the release of air from the lungs, resulting in an overabundance of carbon dioxide in the body, and may present with shortness of breath, wheezing, and fatigue.

2. Chronic bronchitis

The second type of COPD occurs when the bronchial tubes become inflamed and irritated, resulting in a mucosal buildup in the area. This obstructs the flow of air, and may cause chronic coughing, sputtering, chest tightness, and fatigue.

There are many ways to manage COPD, including:

  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Healthy eating
  • Proper hydration
  • Regular exercise
  • Avoiding environmental triggers like pollution, allergens, and extreme heat/cold

Want to learn more about COPD and how to deal with your symptoms? Reach out to one of our friendly oxygen specialists today! Call us toll free at 1-800-958-0192


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