Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of conditions that cause progressive (worsening) loss of lung function. It happens when the elastic tubes that carry air in the lungs or the attached balloon-like structures that hold air (air sacs) are damaged and can’t move air in and out of the lungs quickly.
Two common types of COPD are:
- Emphysema: when the air sacs stretch out and eventually collapse and trap air
- Chronic obstructive bronchitis: when inflammation and mucous block the airways
COPD is caused by smoking, secondhand smoke, or environmental pollutants. Emphysema is related to antitrypsin deficiency (alpha-1), a metabolic storage disorder that also affects the liver. In addition, people with multiple lung infections may have a higher risk of developing COPD.
Symptoms of COPD include chronic (ongoing) cough, a cough that brings up mucus, and shortness of breath. Sometimes, dangerous flare-ups happen, when shortness of breath worsens quickly. Over time, shortness of breath caused by COPD can affect simple daily activities.
If you have symptoms of COPD, make an appointment with a pulmonologist (lung specialist) at University of Miami Health System. Our teams can help you breathe easier.
Why Choose UHealth?
Advanced diagnostics and nuclear imaging. With advanced diagnostics and nuclear imaging tests, we can get better results, for a more accurate diagnosis. This means we can start treatment early, and even slow disease progression.
Critical care experts here for you from hospital to home. Our pulmonologists diagnose and treat conditions in the hospital and intensive care units. We also provide follow-up outpatient (clinic) care for COPD at convenient South Florida locations. You get seamless services from some of the same providers who know you and understand your medical history.
Researching new and better treatments for COPD. We’re studying medicine safety and effectiveness for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, such as emphysema and antitrypsin deficiency (alpha-1). With ongoing research and clinical trials, you can trust you’ll get the most innovative COPD care sooner.