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Helping you catch your breath
When you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) every breath can be a struggle. COPD refers to diseases that cause your airways to become damaged or blocked. These diseases include chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
When you have emphysema, the air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs develop “holes.” These holes trap air in your lungs and stretch out your lung tissue. This makes the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide difficult when you exhale.
Symptoms and diagnosis
Know the symptoms and when to seek care
Smoking is one of the leading causes of emphysema. Air pollution is another. Usually the disease develops gradually. Symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
If you have these symptoms, it’s important to see your healthcare provider. They may use breathing tests, imaging tests and a particular type of blood test to evaluate your symptoms.
Treatments and research
Learn about the ways we treat COPD
If you’re diagnosed with emphysema or COPD, we have several treatments to help. We can’t cure these conditions, but we can help you breathe better and slow their progression.
Treatments range from simple therapies to advanced surgeries. They include:
Patient support and services
More ways we can help
We have several resources that can help if you’re living with COPD.
Advanced Lung Disease Program
Our Madison-based Advanced Lung Disease Program brings the services of our lung doctors and thoracic surgeons together under one roof. Together, they evaluate and treat advanced lung disease and offer second opinions. They also use research to improve patient care.
Meet our team
Expertise for all your lung health needs
At UW Health, you get expert care. Our team includes experienced pulmonologists that manage your condition and make sure you get the right care at the right time.
Nationally recognized care that helps you breathe easierPulmonary Medicine Service
How to find us
We provide care for COPD and emphysema through our pulmonary medicine clinics.