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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.

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...

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
Continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) uses a machine to help a person who has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) breathe more easily during sleep. A CPAP machine increases air pressure in your throat so that your airway doesn't collapse when...

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...

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 (OSA). But even though most people who have sleep apnea snore, not all people who snore have sleep apnea. Snoring occurs when the flow of air from the mouth or nose to the lungs is disturbed...

Tracheostomy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Discusses tracheostomy to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This surgery is done only for severe OSA. Explains that permanent opening in windpipe is created. Discusses possible complications, including lung infection, trouble talking, or 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.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Pulmonary rehabilitation for COPD combines different treatments to: Help you lead a more active life. Help reduce your symptoms. Improve your quality of life. Encourage your active participation in your treatment. Help keep you out of the doctor's office and out of the hospital...

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are surgeries to remove the tonsils or adenoids. They are: Used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children. Rarely used to treat snoring in adults. Not used to treat snoring in children. The surgeries almost...

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
It's important that you know how to treat your COPD. This is true for everyday care and for when your symptoms get worse. It's also very important that your family, friends, and caregivers know what to do. If you can't care for yourself in an emergency, others need to know how they can help you. Fill out this action...

COPD: Avoiding Weight Loss
Covers causes of weight and muscle loss when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Includes why weight loss is a concern with COPD and how to avoid it. Guides you through ways to add nutritious calories and protein to your diet.

COPD: Using Exercise to Feel Better
Covers ways to exercise and stay active with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Explains that exercise makes muscles and heart stronger and may improve shortness of breath. Includes warning to talk to your doctor before starting exercise.

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: Learning to Breathe Easier
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. COPD gets worse over time. You can't undo the damage to your lungs. But you can take steps to breathe easier and feel better. If you have severe COPD,...

COPD: Avoiding Your Triggers
You can do things at home to manage COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). By learning the triggers for COPD and avoiding them, you can help reduce flare-ups. While some triggers may be out of your control, there are others you can easily...

COPD: Clearing Your Lungs
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a long-term illness that makes it hard to breathe. When you have COPD, air does not flow easily into and out of your lungs. You may be short of breath, cough a lot, and have a lot of mucus in your lungs. Learning to clear your lungs may help you save energy and oxygen and...

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.

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.

Swallowed or Inhaled Objects
When you swallow food, liquid, or an object, what is swallowed passes from your mouth through your throat and esophagus into your stomach. A swallowed object will usually pass through the rest of your digestive tract without problems and show up in your stool in a few days. If food or a nonfood item gets stuck along the...

Breathing Problems: Using a Metered-Dose Inhaler
Diseases affecting the lungs—such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)—share many of the same medicines. These medicines are often delivered through a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). Using an MDI:...

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...

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...

COPD Flare-Ups
When you have COPD, especially if you have chronic bronchitis, you may sometimes have sudden attacks where your breathing and coughing symptoms suddenly get worse and stay that way. These attacks are called COPD exacerbations, or flare-ups. With treatment, many people recover and return to the same level of...

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...

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...

COPD: Handling a Flare-Up
If you have COPD, your usual shortness of breath could suddenly get worse. You may start coughing more and have more mucus. This flare-up is called a COPD exacerbation or a COPD attack. A respiratory tract infection or air pollution could set off an attack. Or it may happen after a quick change in temperature or...

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...

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. I plunged into a big black hole of depression. "Someone told me to go online and hook up with a support group. I did, and it literally changed my...

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.

Conserving Energy When You Have COPD or Other Chronic Conditions
Cooking dinner, putting away laundry, or even just walking across your living room 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...

COPD: Help for Caregivers
Helping or caring for a loved one with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) can feel like a lot to take on. There's the challenge of caregiving, because what seems best for someone isn't always what the person wants to do. There's also the...

COPD and Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) 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...

COPD and Sex
For many people, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) gets in the way of sex. Being out of breath makes things difficult. Just thinking about it can make you want to avoid sex. But it doesn't have to be like that. To start, think through...

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...

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...

Nebulizer for COPD Treatment
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. Depending on your needs, you can get a small, portable...

Asthma in Children: Helping a Child Use a Metered-Dose Inhaler and Mask Spacer
Covers helping a child with asthma 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.

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 in Children: Knowing How Bad an Attack Is
It can be difficult to know whether your child is having a mild, moderate, or severe asthma attack. The following chart may help you. Talk with a doctor if you are unable to tell how severe your child's symptoms are. Factor Mild attack Moderate...

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. Although it may appear that occasional treatment with medicines for children who have mild asthma is enough, one review...

Lung Cancer and Other Lung Problems From Smoking
Most lung cancer is caused by smoking. After you quit, your risk for lung cancer drops gradually. By 10 years, your risk will be about half of what it would have been if you had continued to smoke. This risk continues to decline as the number of...

Oxygen Therapy: Using Oxygen at Home
If you need oxygen at home, it is important to learn how to use and take care of your equipment. This information will help you get the most from your oxygen treatment. If you have low blood oxygen levels, breathing extra oxygen can help you feel better and lead to a longer, more active life. You can travel even...

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...

Sleep Apnea: Oral Devices
Oral devices (also called oral appliances) are sometimes used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). They push the tongue and jaw forward, which makes the airway larger and improves airflow. This also reduces the chance that tissue will collapse...

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)...

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...