Asthma and COPD can literally take your breath away. Fortunately, a variety of treatment options can help you breathe easier. The physicians at the Woodridge Clinic can help you manage your asthma and COPD symptoms.
What is the difference between asthma and COPD?
Although both conditions cause wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing, there are some differences. The term "Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease" (COPD) covers both emphysema and chronic bronchitis, although many people have both. COPD gets progressively worse over time, while asthma usually does not. Asthma is usually diagnosed in childhood, but most people don't develop COPD until their 40s or later. Asthma can run in families although experts aren't exactly sure why some people develop it. Cigarette smoking is the chief cause of COPD.
How do your Woodridge doctors treat asthma and COPD?
Although there are some differences between the two diseases, many of the same types of medications are helpful in treating both diseases. Although the medication you use will depend on your symptoms and the severity of your disease, doctors often prescribe one or more of these treatment options for people who have asthma or COPD.
- Long-acting bronchodilator inhalers: Long-acting bronchodilators keep airways relaxed and opened for as long as 12 hours. They're usually used twice per day and help prevent symptoms flares.
- Short-acting bronchodilator inhalers: This inhaled medicine also relaxes and opens your airways. Bronchodilators provide fast-acting relief but the effects may only last a few hours. Your doctor may recommend that you keep a bronchodilator on hand in cause your symptoms flare up.
- Oral bronchiodilators: Bronchiodilators are also available in pill form.
- Inhaled corticosteroids: Inhaled steroids are the most effective type of medication for treating asthma and COPD. Using the inhalers helps keep symptoms under control and reduces flare-ups and hospitalization.
- Other medications: Doctors can also offer other types of medication to help you breathe better, including steroid tablets, antibiotics for infections and mucolytic medications that make it easier for you to cough up phlegm.
Don't put your health at risk by ignoring asthma or COPD symptoms. If you have trouble breathing, schedule an appointment with the Woodridge Clinic at (630) 910-1177. Breathe easier with asthma and COPD treatments!