Integrated Family Medical Center
Kalpana Desai, MD
Family Practice Physician located in Lady Lake, FL now servicing patients from Villages, FL.
If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, increased breathlessness, and frequent coughing, Kalpana Desai, MD, can help. At Family Medical Center in Lady Lake, Florida, Dr. Desai provides accurate diagnosis and treatment plans for COPD lung diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis. To learn more about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the treatments available, call Integrated Family Medical Center or schedule an appointment online today.
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is used to describe progressive lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
COPD is caused by damage to the lungs that reduces their ability to function. The primary cause of COPD is smoking, but you can also develop lung disease from exposure to other lung irritants such as pollution, fumes, or gases. In rare cases, COPD is caused by the genetic disorder alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency.
When you have COPD, you experience increased breathlessness as the disease progresses and your lung function decreases. This reduction in function can lead to more damage to your lungs.
There’s no cure for COPD, but it can be managed.
What are the symptoms of COPD?
COPD symptoms can vary, but often include:
- Frequent coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Fatigue, especially during activity
How is COPD diagnosed?
During your physical exam, Dr. Desai discusses your family and medical history, as well as the degree to which you’ve been exposed to cigarette smoke or any lung irritants. She might also recommend additional testing that includes:
- Chest X-ray to look for emphysema, other lung conditions, or heart failure
- CT scans to find emphysema or to screen for lung cancer
- Pulmonary (lung) function tests to measure your lung capacity
- Arterial blood gas analysis to measure oxygenation of the blood and removal of carbon dioxide
Dr. Desai might also perform lab tests to rule out other health conditions or to determine genetic links that might have you at risk for COPD.
How is COPD treated?
There’s no cure for COPD, but several treatments are available to manage your condition. The earlier you reach a diagnosis, the more effective your treatment can be.
Dr. Desai provides personalized treatment options to match your individual needs. First, if you smoke, she works with you to identify an effective smoking cessation strategy to help you quit.
Next, she works with you to develop strategies to control your COPD symptoms, reduce your chances of exacerbations (symptom flare-ups), and ensure you can lead a full and active life. Treatment options include:
- Long-term medications to treat symptoms
- Short-term medications to control exacerbations
- Lung therapies like supplemental oxygen
- Surgeries such as lung volume reduction, transplant, or bullectomy
Dr. Desai also offers holistic therapies in addition to traditional medical care. For COPD management, these might include breathing techniques, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and controlled coughing to clear your airways.
If you’re suffering from symptoms associated with COPD, call Integrated Family Medical Center or schedule an appointment online today.