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Emphysema and chronic bronchitis — illnesses that limit how much air you can breathe — are known together as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Asthma and sleep disorders are also contributors. Though largely preventable, COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.What Causes COPD?
Simple Testing Can Provide Early Detection
Early discovery of a breathing problem can prevent COPD from progressing to the point where it seriously interferes with your life. A simple, painless test called spirometry can tell whether your breathing is normal. The test uses a device called a spirometer to measure how much air the lungs can hold and how well the respiratory system is able to move air into and out of the lungs.
Through routine spirometry, lung diseases can often be diagnosed in the early stages when treatment is most effective. Once a lung disease is diagnosed and treated, routine spirometry tests can monitor changes in lung functions with specific treatment. This will help your doctor find the best treatment plan for you.
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For More Information
For more information about heart and vascular care at Sharp or to find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego cardiologist or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about heart and vascular care, visit Cardiovascular Diseases in Adult Health or read the Heart and Cardiovascular News archive.