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Object Stuck in a Child's Airway
An object can become stuck in the airway at any age but is most common in children younger than age 3. Although a child may not have any symptoms when something is stuck in his or her airway, any of the following symptoms may occur: Rapid, noisy, or high-pitched breathing Increased drooling Difficult, painful...

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
Discusses causes and symptoms of COPD. Looks at chronic bronchitis and emphysema, two diseases that are usually a part of COPD. Covers quitting smoking. Includes treatment with bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids. Offers home treatment tips.

Object Stuck in the Throat
Sometimes after you swallow a pill it may feel like it "got stuck" or didn't go all the way down. This feeling usually goes away within 30 to 60 minutes if you drink liquids or eat a piece of bread. You may not have any symptoms when something is stuck in your esophagus. But when symptoms are present, they may include...

COPD
If you have COPD, you know how scary it can be to feel short of breath. Whether you just found out that you have COPD or you've been living with it for a while, you will find helpful information here. Our topics will teach you about the disease and give you some tips on breathing easier. Get the information you need...

COPD's Effect on the Lungs
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) slowly damages the lungs and affects how you breathe. COPD's effect on breathing In COPD, the airways of the lungs (bronchial tubes) become inflamed and narrowed. They tend to collapse when you breathe out and can become clogged with mucus. This reduces airflow through the...

Asthma in Children
Discusses causes and symptoms of asthma in children. Looks at treatment with medicine such as inhaled corticosteroid and albuterol. Discusses avoiding triggers and treating attacks. Covers using nebulizers, metered-dose with spacer and dry powder inhalers.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
CPAP is a small machine that you use at home every night while you sleep. It increases air pressure in your throat to keep your airway open. When you have sleep apnea, this can help you sleep better, feel better, and avoid future health problems. CPAP stands for "continuous positive airway pressure." The CPAP machine...

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Information on uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Explains that UPPP is a procedure to remove excess tissue in the throat to make the airway wider. Discusses effectiveness and risks.

Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring is a major symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. But even though most people who have sleep apnea snore, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea: How loud and how often you snore changes often. Your snoring disturbs your sleep, such as pauses in breathing or gasping while sleeping. You...

Tracheostomy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Discusses tracheostomy to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It's done only for severe OSA. Explains that a permanent opening in windpipe is created. Discusses possible complications, including lung infection, trouble talking, and scar tissue.

Oxygen Treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Covers oxygen treatment to increase oxygen flow to lungs and blood when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Explains that oxygen therapy may slow or prevent heart failure. Covers oxygen use during exercise, sleep, and travel.

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are surgeries to remove the tonsils or adenoids. The adenoids are above the tonsils and behind the nose. Your doctor will do the surgery through your mouth. You will be asleep. Most people go home that same day. These surgeries are: Used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children...

COPD: Clearing Your Lungs
When you have too much mucus in your lungs, learning to clear your lungs may help you save energy and improve your breathing. It may also help prevent lung infections. Here are three ways to clear your lungs: Postural drainage Chest and back percussion Controlled coughing

Sleep Apnea
Focuses on obstructive sleep apnea. Discusses causes, including narrowed airways and obesity. Covers symptoms like snoring, gasping during sleep, and daytime sleepiness. Info on treatment with CPAP and oral or nasal breathing devices.

COPD Action Plan
Knowing how to treat your COPD can help you feel better and give you peace of mind. This is true for everyday care and for when your symptoms get worse. When your symptoms suddenly get much worse, it's called a COPD exacerbation, or a flare-up. Quick treatment at home may help you manage a flare-up. Having an action...

COPD: Using Exercise to Feel Better
Covers ways to exercise and stay active with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Explains that exercise makes muscles stronger and may improve shortness of breath. Provides step-by-step instructions for how to do upper and lower body exercises for COPD.

COPD Flare-Ups
At times, your symptoms may suddenly flare up and get much worse. This is called a COPD exacerbation (say "ig-ZAS-ur-BAY-shun"). When this happens, your usual symptoms quickly get worse and stay bad. This can be dangerous, and you may have to go to the hospital. Symptoms of a flare-up include: Coughing more than usual...

COPD: Avoiding Your Triggers
You can help reduce flare-ups of your COPD by learning what the triggers are and avoiding them. Pay attention to symptoms that may warn you of a flare-up. While some triggers may be out of your control, there are others that may be easier to avoid.

Lung Function in COPD
Lung function means how well your lungs work. When you have COPD, your lungs can't move as much air in and out as they should. And the more serious your COPD is, the less air your lungs are able to move. Spirometry tests are used to measure lung function. They measure how much air you breathe out when you take long...

COPD: Handling a Flare-Up
In a COPD attack or flare-up, your usual symptoms suddenly get worse. You have more shortness of breath and wheezing. You have more coughing, with or without mucus. You may cough up more mucus than usual, and it may be a different color. Don't panic Do not panic if you start to have a COPD flare-up. If you have a COPD...

Fran's Story: Finding Support When You Have COPD
"I was so scared when the doctor told me I had emphysema. I was afraid to go anywhere or do anything. "Someone told me to go online and connect with a support group. I did, and it literally changed my life. I was pretty shy at first, and all I did was read what everyone else was writing. Then one day I was having...

COPD: Keeping Your Diet Healthy
Covers eating healthy foods when you have COPD. Looks at how shortness of breath may make eating harder and why it is important to eat regularly. Offers tips to make eating easier and help you get necessary nutrition.

COPD: Avoiding Weight Loss
Guides you through ways to add nutritious calories and protein to your diet.

Cal's Story: Learning to Exercise When You Have COPD
"Why me?" That's what Cal asked himself over and over after he was diagnosed with severe COPD 5 years ago. "I spent the first 2 years moping around the house, feeling sorry for myself," he says. "I didn't go anywhere, I didn't do anything. I just sat in front of the TV and tried not to think about anything." Then one...

Sleep Apnea: Should I Have a Sleep Study?
Guides through decision to have sleep study to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea. Includes pros such as diagnosis that can lead to treatment. Also offers cons such as cost. Includes interactive tool to help you decide.

Swallowed or Inhaled Objects
Briefly discusses the types of things that can be swallowed or inhaled, such as food, poisonous plants or chemicals, and disc batteries. Offers interactive tool to help decide when to seek care. Also offers home treatment tips.

Breathing Problems: Using a Metered-Dose Inhaler
A metered-dose inhaler lets you breathe medicine into your lungs quickly. Inhaled medicine works faster than the same medicine in a pill. An inhaler allows you to take less medicine than you would need if you took it as a pill. "Metered-dose" means that the inhaler gives a measured amount of medicine each time you use...

Conserving Energy When You Have COPD or Other Chronic Conditions
Sometimes daily activities can be exhausting when you have COPD, heart failure, or another long-term (chronic) condition. You may feel at times as though you've lost your ability to live your life. Conserving, or saving, your energy means finding ways to do daily activities with as little effort as possible. With some...

Lung Problems: Learning to Breathe Easier
Breathing is hard when you have lung problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or interstitial lung disease. You may take quick, short breaths. Breathing this way makes it harder to get air into your lungs. Learning new ways to slow down and control your breathing may help. You may feel better and be...

Oxygen Therapy: Using Oxygen at Home
Oxygen therapy helps you get more oxygen into your lungs and bloodstream. You may use it if you have a disease that makes it hard to breathe, such as COPD, pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs), or heart failure. Oxygen therapy can make it easier for you to breathe and can reduce your heart's workload. Some people...

Bullectomy for COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) weakens the structure of the lung and may also damage the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the lung. When these air sacs break down, larger airspaces known as bullae are formed. Bullae sometimes can become so large that they interfere with breathing and may cause complications...

Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Depending on your lung condition, pulmonary rehabilitation combines different treatments to help you: Lead a more active life. Have fewer symptoms. Improve your quality of life. Encourage your active participation in your treatment. Keep you out of the hospital. Decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Feel better...

COPD: Lung Volume Reduction Surgery
In lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS), a large area of damaged lung is removed to allow the remaining lung tissue to expand when you breathe in. This surgery is done only for people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or with certain types of emphysema. The National Emphysema Treatment Trial has...

Sarah's Story: Dealing With the Emotions From COPD
More good days. It's possible to have them, even with COPD, says Sarah, who found out 3 years ago that she had the disease. COPD sneaked up on Sarah. She began coughing more often, and the coughing lasted longer. Every day it got a little bit harder to breathe. One day she found she couldn't walk up the basement stairs...

COPD and Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) Deficiency
What is alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency? Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) is a protein normally found in the lungs and the bloodstream. It helps protect the lungs from the damage caused by inflammation that can lead to emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). People whose bodies do not produce enough of this...

Breathing Problems: Helping a Child Use a Metered-Dose Inhaler and Mask Spacer
Covers helping a child use a metered-dose inhaler with mask spacer. Explains that a metered dose inhaler delivers a measured dose of medicine directly to the lungs. Includes pictures on how to use metered-dose inhaler with mask spacer.

Asthma's Impact on Your Child's Life
Asthma is a challenging condition. It can affect all areas of your child's life. Many children who have asthma miss school days. When this happens, have your child call a friend to ask about the work that was missed. Doing this both helps your child keep up with schoolwork and gives some of the social contact that...

Asthma in Children: Knowing How Bad an Attack Is
It can be hard to know if your child is having a mild, moderate, or severe asthma attack. The following chart may help you. Talk with a doctor if you can't tell how bad your child's symptoms are. In most cases, you can take care of your child's symptoms at home by looking at your child's asthma action plan. The plan...

Sleep Apnea: Should I Have Surgery?
Guides through decision to have surgery for sleep apnea. Discusses problems like depression and high blood pressure associated with lack of treatment. Covers alternatives to surgery. Includes interactive tool to help you make your decision.

Breathing Problems: Using a Nebulizer
A nebulizer is a tool that delivers liquid medicine as a fine mist. You breathe in the medicine through a mouthpiece or face mask. This sends the medicine directly to your airways and lungs. You breathe in the medicine for a few minutes. Why is a nebulizer used? A nebulizer may be used to treat respiratory problems...

Asthma: Educating Yourself and Your Child
Educating yourself and your family about asthma is essential for you and your child to have control of the disease. If you understand asthma, you will have an easier time following the different aspects of treatment, such as avoiding substances that cause symptoms (triggers) and knowing what to do during an asthma...

COPD and Sex
Here are some ideas for making the most of your intimate time with your partner. Think about what could help you be more comfortable. Share your thoughts with your partner, and come up with solutions together. Be well rested before having sex. Choose the time of day when you have more energy and when breathing is...

Ned's Story: Quitting Smoking
"I've been smoking ever since I was a teenager. That's 40-something years ago. I never really thought about what could happen to this old body if I kept lighting up. I just knew that I loved to smoke. "Then I started to notice that it was getting harder and harder to do simple things like walk to my mailbox. One time my...

Lung Cancer and Other Lung Problems From Smoking
Smoking harms your lungs in many ways. Quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do to slow down the disease and improve your quality of life. Smoking is linked to: Lung cancer. Most lung cancer is caused by smoking. After you quit, your risk for lung cancer drops over time. The risk continues to go down as...

Treating Asthma in Babies and Younger Children
Babies and small children need early treatment for asthma symptoms to prevent severe breathing problems. They may have more serious problems than adults because their bronchial tubes are smaller. Babies and young children may be treated with oral or inhaled medicines. Even if your child's asthma does not appear severe...

How Asthma Develops in Children
Asthma is the most common long-lasting (chronic) disease of childhood. It usually develops before age 5. Many children who have allergies get asthma, but not all. And not every child with asthma has allergies. In most cases of persistent asthma, the first symptoms (such as wheezing) start in the first years of life. One...

Breathing Problems: Using a Dry Powder Inhaler
Covers using an inhaler to get needed medicine into lungs quickly. Describes dry powder inhalers, how they work, and why to use them. Includes pictures on how to use a dry powder inhaler.

Stages of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when you regularly stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer during sleep. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, based on the number of times an hour that you stop breathing (apnea) or that airflow to your lungs is reduced (hypopnea). This is called the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). Mild apnea. Mild apnea...

Chronic Illness: Help for Caregivers
Helping or caring for a loved one with a long-term (chronic) condition, such as COPD or heart failure, can feel like a lot to take on. Sometimes it can be hard for people to accept help. Or they may choose not to accept help. So you may have to adjust the way you think, ask, listen, and respond. These tips might help...

Sleep Apnea: Fiber-Optic Pharyngoscopy
Fiber-optic pharyngoscopy is a procedure that allows your doctor to look into the upper part of your respiratory system. He or she may use it to help decide how to treat your obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). You remain awake during the procedure. Your doctor gives you medicine ( anesthesia) to numb your throat and then...

Oral Breathing Devices for Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Several oral devices have been tested to help treat people with sleep apnea or snoring. A device called a mandibular repositioning device pushes the jaw forward, improving airflow. Changing the position of the lower jaw enlarges the airway and decreases the chance that it will collapse when you inhale. Other oral...