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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

What is COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) encompasses a group of lung diseases, most commonly emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema damages the air sacs and causes the lungs to be hyperinflated, while chronic bronchitis causes plugging and narrowing of the airways.

These disease cause breathing to become increasingly difficult.

What Are The Symptoms of COPD?

 Shortness of breath
 Shortness of breath with mild exercise (walking, using stairs, etc.)
 Chronic, productive cough (with mucus)
 Feeling of 'tightness' in chest
 Wheezing

What Causes COPD?

 Exposure to tobacco smoke. The most significant risk factor for COPD is long-term cigarette smoking. The more years you smoke and the more packs you smoke, the greater your risk. This includes pipe smokers, cigar smokers and marijuana smokers also may be at risk, as well as people exposed to large amounts of secondhand smoke.

 People with asthma who smoke. The combination of asthma, and smoking increases the risk of COPD even more.

 Occupational exposure to dusts and chemicals. Long-term exposure to chemical fumes, vapors and dusts in the workplace can irritate and inflame your lungs.

 Age. COPD develops slowly over years, so most people are at least 40 years old when symptoms begin.

 Genetics. The uncommon genetic disorder alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency is the cause of some cases of COPD. Other genetic factors likely make certain smokers more susceptible to the disease.

COPD Treatment Program

The COPD Clinic at Pinckneyville Community Hospital is an education and treatment program designed to help patients control their disease. Lung disease management is a team effort making you and your provider the key players on the team. Our staff will work closely with your provider to keep them fully apprised of your progress.

As a patient referred to the COPD Clinic, you are an active participant in your treatment plan. You will learn how to control COPD through:
 Smoking cessation
 Medication compliance
 Making dietary changes as needed
 Making lifestyle changes
 Potential enrollment in
Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
 Symptom Management

How do I enroll in the COPD Clinic?

After you have received your provider's referral to our program, contact the COPD Clinic staff at 618-357-5958 to schedule your first appointment.

Your health status will be evaluated by a registered nurse in our Clinic during your first appointment. Issues of concern to you and your family will be identified during the first visit, and an individualized education plan will be created for you.

You will be scheduled for appointments as your condition warrants. These appointments will help you learn more about managing your COPD, controlling your symptoms, and taking your medications appropriately.

Our goal is to help you avoid hospitalizations and trips to the emergency room, while improving your overall comfort and quality of life.

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