COPD Specialist

The Sleep Lab

Jamil S. Sulieman, MD, FAASM

Sleep Medicine & Pulmonology located in Kaneohe, HI & Honolulu, HI

More than 15 million Americans have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an incurable lung disease that gets progressively worse. At The Sleep Lab, sleep specialist Jamil Sulieman, MD, regularly provides comprehensive care for COPD. Using a combination of treatments, he can relieve uncomfortable symptoms and improve your quality of life. To make an appointment, call the office in Kaneohe, Hawaii, or click the online booking feature today.

COPD Q&A

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for a group of chronic conditions that affect your respiratory health. 

At The Sleep Lab, the sleep and respiratory specialists diagnose and treat both types of COPD, including:

Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis causes inflammation of your bronchial tubes. As the condition gets worse, it causes your lungs to produce excess mucus, making it difficult to breathe.

Emphysema

Emphysema is a progressive disease that destroys the air sacs inside your lungs. Often, it occurs because of smoking.

What are the symptoms of COPD?

Symptoms of COPD include:

  • Occasional shortness of breath, especially after exercise
  • Mild, but recurrent, cough
  • Regularly clearing your throat
  • Lack of energy
  • Chest tightness
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Weight loss

As your COPD gets worse, you might also experience swelling in your feet, legs, or ankles. 

What causes COPD?

The most common cause of COPD is smoking cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe. Over the years, tobacco smoke infiltrates your lungs, allowing tar to build up. Other factors that increase the risk of COPD include exposure to chemical fumes and genetics. 

How is COPD diagnosed?

To diagnose COPD, your provider at The Sleep Lab reviews your medical history and asks a series of questions, including if you currently smoke or have smoked in the past, if you have asthma or another respiratory condition, and if COPD runs in your family.

Next, your provider listens to your lungs with a stethoscope. They may also order pulmonary function tests, a chest X-ray, and blood work. These tests can rule out conditions that present similar symptoms, including bronchitis, asthma, and pneumonia.

How is COPD treated?

Treatment of COPD depends on various factors, including the type you have and the severity of your symptoms. Your provider at The Sleep Lab might recommend:

  • Oxygen therapy
  • Inhaled bronchodilators
  • Corticosteroids
  • Theophylline to treat wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Vaccines
  • Antibiotics or antivirals

You might also benefit from healthy lifestyle changes like quitting smoking; eating a healthy, balanced diet; and avoiding activities or substances that trigger your symptoms.

Does COPD increase my risk of lung cancer?

Yes. If you have COPD, you’re also more likely to experience lung cancer. Even so, there are steps you can take to significantly lower your risk. The Sleep Lab recommends exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and joining an online or in-person support group.

To learn more about the various treatment options for COPD, make an appointment at The Sleep Lab by calling the office or clicking the online booking feature today.