COPD

Kirill Zhadovich, MD, SC

Internal Medicine & Family Medicine located in Niles, IL

The World Health Organization estimates 65 million people worldwide are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This chronic respiratory condition can make even simple activities like taking a walk or climbing a flight of stairs nearly impossible. At his self-titled practice in Niles, Illinois, internal medicine physician Kirill Zhadovich, MD, and family medicine physician Alex Kostiv, MD, offer compassionate care for COPD. Call or use the online booking tool to make your appointment today.

COPD Q & A

What is COPD?

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a blanket term used to describe a series of progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and more. 

What are the symptoms of COPD?

The most common symptoms associated with COPD are persistent coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Other telltale signs of COPD include:

  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest
  • A dry cough without mucus

COPD also makes it difficult to stay physically active. For example, getting out of bed in the morning could cause you to pant or wheeze. 

Many people think respiratory problems are part of the natural aging process, but that isn’t necessarily the case. If you’re having trouble breathing, it’s important to make an appointment at Kirill Zhadovich, MD, SC, right away. 

How is COPD diagnosed?

To diagnose COPD, the team performs a spirometry test. This test measures the strength and holding capacity of your lungs. 

During a spirometry test, you’re asked to blow all of your air into a mouthpiece attached to a machine called a spirometer. The spirometer measures two separate numbers: the amount of air you blow in the first second and the amount of air you blow in the following 6 seconds. 

Your doctor then uses these numbers to determine the nature and severity of your COPD. COPD falls into four separate phases, but unlike cancer, these phases don’t correlate to your life expectancy. Instead, they’re used to help your doctor formulate an adequate treatment plan.

How is COPD treated?

There’s no cure for COPD, but with proper intervention and treatment, it’s possible to live a healthy, happy, and active life. Treatment for COPD depends on the severity of your symptoms. Your doctor may recommend:

Medication

Bronchodilators are a type of prescription drug that helps to relax and widen your airways. Like asthma medications, bronchodilators are typically administered through an inhaler or nebulizer. 

To lower your risk of respiratory infections, your doctor may also recommend getting a flu shot or tetanus booster that also provides protection from whooping cough.

Oxygen therapy

As COPD progresses, your blood oxygen levels drop. Supplemental oxygen therapy can help you breathe clearly and stay active.

Surgery

Treatment for COPD is usually non-invasive, but severe cases of emphysema may require surgical intervention. 

If you’re interested in learning more about diagnosis and treatment of COPD, call or book an appointment online at Kirill Zhadovich, MD, SC, today.