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Blog Post created by Thomas3.20.2010 on Apr 16, 2013

Ex-Smoker With COPD Symptoms? Talk With Your Doctor Now, Not Later


While being a smoker does not guarantee the onset of disease, if you are an ex-smoker with respiratory complications, such as constant coughing or shortness of breath, it's important to see your doctor sooner rather than later. A simple test may provide an early diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which means you can start caring for your COPD as soon as possible.

What are COPD symptoms?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has several symptoms that you should watch for, according to theMayo Clinic:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness

An ex-smoker with COPD symptoms should pay special attention to these symptoms, as former smokers are particularly susceptible to COPD. In fact, nine of every 10 COPD-related deaths is caused by smoking, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Even if you quit a long time ago, you can still get COPD. 


Why you should talk to your doctor

According to Medline Plus, the earlier COPD is detected, the better it can be treated. Your doctor will do a spirometry test. It's very simple and easy. You just take a deep breath and blow into a tube so the doctor can measure your lung function.

If you are diagnosed, your doctor may prescribe a variety of treatments, depending on the severity of your condition. Possible treatments include:

  • Medication
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Surgery

Although COPD is not fully curable, you can slow the symptoms and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. In addition to treating you, your doctor may recommend a more nutritious diet, exercise and stress management.