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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema

COPD is a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. The two main forms of COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema, both of which cause damage to your airways and interfere with your ability to absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide.

What you should know about COPD and emphysema

  • COPD is commonly caused by damage to the lungs from smoking. It worsens over time and the damage created is permanent. However, steps can be taken to prevent further damage and improve quality of life.
  • With chronic bronchitis, the airways (bronchial tubes) that bring air to the lungs become inflamed, resulting in a long-term cough with mucus. These combined effects can make breathing difficult.
  • Emphysema causes damaged air sacs in the lungs, making it difficult for them to stretch during breathing. This means less air goes in and out of the lungs, creating shortness of breath.

Why choose Geisinger for your COPD and emphysema care?

  • Geisinger pulmonologists and respiratory therapists are skilled at treating COPD and emphysema, using advanced techniques (including medication and thoracic surgery) to help manage the condition and improve quality of life.
  • Whether COPD is mild or severe, our pulmonologists can help slow the decline in lung function and relieve symptoms.

Treatment options

Our pulmonologists use these treatments for COPD and emphysema:

  • Lifestyle management
  • Medication
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Surgery

Specialties and institutes

Connect with other specialties at Geisinger to learn more about these treatments.

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