Asthma / COPD Specialist

Orem Internal Medicine

Jeffrey G Ogden, M.D.

Board Certified Internal Medicine & Preventive Medicine Specialist located in Orem, UT

Nearly 150,000 people die in the U.S. each year as a result of chronic lower respiratory diseases, including asthma, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis. If you gasp for air when you exercise and cough uncontrollably, call Dr. Jeffrey Ogden at Orem Internal Medicine in Orem, Utah, so he can determine whether you have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Asthma / COPD Q & A

by Jeffrey G Ogden, M.D.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a tightening of the airways that can trigger coughing and difficulty breathing. The characteristic symptom is wheezing. This is often present in childhood and may worsen throughout life. Though there is no cure for asthma, Dr. Ogden can prescribe medication that will control your symptoms and improve your breathing symptoms including:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling

How is asthma treated?

Dr. Ogden determines the correct medication to control your asthma symptoms based on your age, symptoms, diagnostic studies, and triggers. Treatment depends on whether you need long-term control medications or occasional episodic treatment.

Avoiding the irritants and substances that trigger your asthma is important. These can include:

  • Airborne substances such as pollen, dust mites, and smoke
  • Cold air
  • Stress

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the title given to a group of lung diseases that block airflow in the lungs and make it increasingly difficult to breathe. COPD includes:

Emphysema

This is caused by exposure to cigarette smoke, irritating gases, and particulate matter, which destroys the alveoli (air sacs) at the end of air passages in your lungs.

Chronic bronchitis

This is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes which carry air to and from the lungs.

COPD symptoms are similar to those of asthma and include coughing accompanied by phlegm, fatigue, and frequent respiratory infections. It can also:

  • Make it difficult for you to climb stairs
  • Have increased confusion or memory loss
  • Have other chronic diseases including asthma

How is COPD treated?

A diagnosis of COPD comes with the recommendation that you quit smoking. Long-term controller medication may be necessary. Prescriptions for rescue inhalers, oral steroids, and antibiotics are usually prescribed for flare-ups.

COPD makes you more susceptible to both influenza and pneumonia, so Seasonal Influenza vaccination every year is essential. In addition to cigarette smoke, you should avoid things that can irritate your lungs, including pollution and air that is excessively cold and dry.

If you are having trouble catching your breath, are coughing, and think you may have asthma or COPD, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Jeffrey Ogden at Orem Internal Medicine in Orem, Utah.