I Live With Someone Who Smokes. Am I At Risk For COPD?

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At Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers, we offer our patients lung testing that evaluates how well their lungs are working. Based on an exam and their specific symptoms, whether shortness of breath or a chronic cough, along with these lung tests, we can confirm a lung diagnosis. If deemed medically necessary, our board-certified physician in pulmonary medicine, Dr. Avi Ishaaya, may also recommend allergy testing to some patients in Los Angeles, CA. Our comprehensive radiology suite is located on-site and uses professional equipment that offers quick and accurate imaging results. This means our patients won’t wait long to learn if they have a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or other lung conditions and, best of all, they can begin treatment quickly.

What is COPD?

COPD is usually described as a long-term inflammation of the bronchi, which are the tubes that bring air into the lungs. It can also include damage to the air sacks, making it difficult to breathe. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is usually diagnosed with a computed tomography (CT) scan, chest X-ray, pulmonary function test, or an arterial blood gas test.

What are the symptoms of COPD?

Some of the most common symptoms of COPD include:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Cough with mucus

  • Tightness in the chest

  • Wheezing

  • Low energy

  • Noisy breathing

  • Recurrent respiratory infections

Generally, symptoms of COPD are the same in both smokers and nonsmokers in Los Angeles, CA. However, Dr. Ishaaya has seen that nonsmokers or patients who never smoke experience much milder symptoms than long-time smokers.

Can you have COPD if you have never smoked?

Men and women who don’t smoke or who have never smoked can still get COPD. Exposure to secondhand smoke or air pollution increases one’s risk of developing COPD. Also, genetics plays a major role in the development of this lung condition since most people with COPD have an alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, which is a protein that helps protect the lungs from damage. Having too little of it means that the lungs deteriorate easier, leading to a COPD diagnosis. Also, Los Angeles, CA patients who are over 40 are at a higher risk of getting COPD.

About lung testing

At Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers in Los Angeles, CA, we use different pulmonary function tests to measure how well a patient’s lungs are performing. These tests give Dr. Ishaaya a baseline medical record for your lung health that we can use later to compare to other tests to show how well your lungs work. We also can use this testing to assess how effective your treatment is over time. These tests evaluate any changes in lung function, lung volume, and what damage a chronic illness has done to your lungs.

We may perform the following lung testing at our center:

  1. Exhale nitric oxide test: This assesses inflammation in your airways and how well treatments or medications are working.

  2. Methacholine challenge: The bronchoprovocation test confirms an asthma diagnosis. You will inhale methacholine, which will narrow your airway, and then we document your response.

  3. Lung imaging: Our radiologists can perform X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds to look for lung disease or lung cancer.

  4. Oxygen six-minute walk study: A patient walks on a flat surface for six minutes. Throughout the study, we look at lung function and what conditions they may be at risk of developing or may already have.

How lung testing improves your health

At Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers in Los Angeles, CA, we provide lung testing that evaluates our patients’ lung function and health. We use these tests to determine the best course of action to treat and manage symptoms, such as shortness of breath with COPD. To schedule a consultation to learn more about pulmonary function tests and discuss if COPD is contagious, call our team in Los Angeles, CA today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.

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