What is COPD?

Contributed by George Coppola, CAIRE Inc.


This month you will see a flurry of orange ribbons pop up on friends’ social media timelines and all over the web drawing awareness to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The global recognition effort is designed to bring attention to the disease that affects 30 million individuals in the U.S. according to the COPD Foundation. An important thing to note is that more than half of this number represents individuals who have COPD, but have not been diagnosed with the disease, but are experiencing a loss of lung function because of the disease.

Early intervention is key with a wide variety of treatment options, but first things first let’s dive deep into – What is COPD?

COPD is a term used to describe a grouping of diseases that can include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, and bronchiectasis. Each of these diseases play a role in blocking the body’s normal flow of air and oxygen.

While smoking is the number one cause of COPD according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), long-term exposure to dangerous fumes, chemicals and dust in environmental situations plays a major role in its development. In addition, genetics can be the cause including Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) which is the lack of a particular protein in the bloodstream which prevents white blood cells from causing deterioration of the lungs.

According to the Mayo Clinic there are several common symptoms for COPD, but often are only noticeable after lung damage has already occurred.

  • Shortness of breath or breathlessness
  • Persistent cough that lasts more than a couple of weeks
  • Wheezing while breathing in and out
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Increased mucus and need to clear your throat

More serious symptoms can include: excess sleep, difficulty talking, swelling of the ankles, legs or feet, blueness of lips or fingernails, and morning headaches, etc. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, I encourage you to immediately call your physician and schedule an appointment to have them investigate the cause of your respiratory distress. COPD is most commonly diagnosed in patients over the age of 40 years old.

At CAIRE medical it is important to us that you understand what to look for and be as informed as possible about COPD. It is our mission to not only provide quality and reliable products to help in the treatment of COPD but also educate you so you can properly manage your disease. We are the only manufacturer who offers oxygen therapy equipment that covers the full continuum of care for COPD. Check out our products at www.cairemedical.com.

We hope that you find this blog series informative and educational.  Look for our next post as part of this series in which I will share common tests to diagnose COPD, the stages of the disease, and treatments currently available.

George Coppola, CAIRE Inc. Director of Marketing, has worked in durable medical equipment space touching almost all products. No stranger to oxygen therapy due to personal family experiences, he has reached a greater understanding of the challenges facing COPD patients, and increased his desire to educate and serve this community with oxygen therapy devices they can depend upon.

CAIRE is a global manufacturer of wearable, portable and at home oxygen therapy solutions. These medical devices come equipped with a variety of pulse and continuous flow options, and sensitive breath detection to ensure peace of mind for the user who depends on supplemental oxygen to maintain a more active lifestyle. CAIRE’s most popular products include the Focus and FreeStyle wearable oxygen concentrators, and the Eclipse 5 portable oxygen concentrator.

Please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.

To learn more about the CAIRE oxygen therapy solutions speak to an oxygen advisor at 1-877-704-0878 or visit www.cairemedical.com. You can also fill out the form* below and a CAIRE oxygen advisor will reach out to you directly. 

*By submitting this information, I authorize CAIRE to contact me including by phone.

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