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COPD

Synaptrx Sleep

Sleep Medicine Specialists & Pulmonary Medicine located in St. Paul, MN & West St. Paul, MN

About 16 million people in the United States experience chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which makes breathing difficult. At Synaptrx Sleep in Phalen and St. Paul, Minnesota, Jagdeep Bijwadia, MD, and the team use state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatments to help people with COPD breathe easier. To schedule an appointment, call the office and speak with a friendly staff member or book online today. Virtual consultations are available.

COPD Q&A

What is COPD?

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive lung condition that makes breathing more difficult. 

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as chemicals or air pollution, may also lead to COPD.

When you breathe in, the air travels to the bronchial tubes (airway passage) in your lungs. Your bronchial tubes branch out into smaller tubes called bronchioles. At the end of each bronchiole is an alveolar sac (air sac). These sacs transfer oxygen to your blood and remove carbon dioxide.

The airways in your lungs are stretchy and inflate and deflate when you breathe. With COPD, your lungs lose their elasticity, trapping the air. 

What conditions cause COPD?

Most people develop COPD due to two conditions.

Emphysema

Emphysema means you have damage to the walls of your air sacs. This affects their shape and function and reduces your lung’s ability to exhale carbon dioxide and supply oxygen to your body.

Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis causes inflammation and irritation of the airway passage. This thickens the lining and increases mucus production. 

Asthma

Asthma is a lung disease that causes swelling and inflammation of the airway passages. Though asthma affects breathing, it’s not a condition that causes COPD. 

What are the symptoms of COPD?

You may not develop symptoms of COPD until there’s serious lung damage. Common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Chest tightness
  • Chronic cough
  • Low energy
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Frequent respiratory infections

You may notice certain conditions exacerbate your COPD symptoms, which can last for weeks. Though COPD is a progressive condition, with the right treatment you can breathe easier. 

How is COPD diagnosed?

When you visit Synaptrx Sleep with concerns about breathing difficulties, the team conducts advanced diagnostic testing to determine the cause.

During your visit, your provider reviews your symptoms, medical history, and exposure to substances that may affect lung health. The team conducts a physical exam and performs diagnostic tests, including a lung function test, X-rays, and lab tests. 

How is COPD treated?

The team at Synaptrx Sleep takes a patient-centered approach to care. They develop individualized treatment plans based on the severity of your COPD. 

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Smoking cessation
  • Bronchodilators
  • Inhaled or oral steroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation therapy

For comprehensive care of your COPD, call Synaptrx Sleep or book an appointment online today.