How Is COPD Treated?

An x-ray of a smoker's lungsChronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the US. It kills more than 120,000 Americans each year.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), hospital re-admissions within 30 days of initial treatment were 30% higher among black patients aged 40 years or above with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), compared to those in Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders and about 9% higher than in whites.

Unfortunately, it’s estimated that millions of Americans with the disease are unaware that they even have it.

COPD is a serious lung disease that includes chronic bronchitis – resulting from constantly inflamed and irritated airways in the lungs – and/or emphysema – resulting from damage to small air sacs and airways in the lungs. In COPD patients, the airways in their lungs are partially blocked, making it difficult to get air in and out, or breathe, and get the oxygen they need.

Common COPD symptoms include the following:

  • Constant coughing, also called “smoker’s cough”
  • Shortness of breath while doing activities
  • Excessive sputum production
  • Feelings of not being able to breathe
  • Inability to take a deep breath
  • Wheezing

Although there is no cure for COPD, there are FDA approved treatments, such as SYMBICORT (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate) inhalation aerosol. SYMBICORT, made by AstraZeneca, is meant to act as a maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with COPD, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

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