Diagnosis and Treatment of COPD

The main test for diagnosing COPD is a lung function test called spirometry which involves the use of a machine called a spirometer that measures how much air you are able to move by taking a deep breath in and out, and how quickly you are able to do so. Arterial blood gas analysis is second important test in diagnosing COPD. This test measures how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are present in the blood. A high percentage of carbon dioxide in the blood can be a sign of poorly functioning lungs. The important methods of treatment are pharmacotherapy and smoking cessation, while pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term oxygen therapy, and surgery may be considered in selected patients. Steroids, inhalers and antibiotics may be prescribed to treat various symptoms of COPD. Smoking cessation is the most effective intervention in stopping the progression of COPD, as well as increasing survival rate of persons suffering with COPD. Hence, smoking cessation should be the top priority in the treatment of COPD.

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