Resource Center

Learn more about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Millions of people around the world suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also known as COPD). There are several causes of this condition, as well as a number of treatment options for those who suffer from it.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a chronic inflammatory lung disease. It is actually a combination of lung diseases, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD can make it hard for sufferers to breathe, and manifests with symptoms that are very similar to asthma.

The main cause of COPD today is smoking. Smokers are at a much higher risk of developing both COPD and asthma, especially if they smoke many times throughout the day. In turn, those who suffer from COPD are at increased risk for other diseases, such as heart disease and lung cancer.


Symptoms of COPD typically only appear after significant lung damage has occurred. Since COPD is a progressive disease, symptoms worsen over time, especially if exposure to harmful contaminants and irritants, such as cigarette smoke, continues.

Common symptoms of COPD include:

  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Shortness of breath, especially during or after exercise
  • Chronic coughing along with the production of sputum
  • Lack of energy
  • Inflammation of the ankles, feet, or legs
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Frequent infections of the respiratory system
  • Episodes known as "exacerbations" during which COPD symptoms become worse for several days at a time

While COPD does get worse over time, it is a treatable condition. Common treatment options include bronchodilators, inhaled corticosteroids, and lifestyle management. With prompt treatment, and lifestyle changes as needed, COPD patients can achieve a measure of control over their symptoms.

Of course, in order for this to occur COPD must be properly diagnosed early on. The trained medical professionals at Allergy and Asthma Care of Waco can determine whether you are suffering from COPD, and then guide you to the treatment option most effective for your situation.

You might also look for

Learn more about Allergies and Asthma

Oak Pollen Alert: 4 Practical Tips for a Sneeze-Free Allergy Season

The spring season brings warmth, blooming flowers, and, for many, the onset of oak pollen. If you find yourself dreading the arrival of spring because of sneezing, itchy, runny nose and other symptoms that come with oak pollen allergies, you're not alone. Millions of people, or 30% of Americans, share your plight.

Read more

The Difference Between Food Allergies and Food Intolerances

Being uncomfortable is never a good feeling, regardless of what it's caused by. When you feel that type of unease, your body may feel tired or itchy, or a million other ways. If it's caused by allergies or intolerances, it's something you can pinpoint and avoid as needed. Additionally and fortunately, those uncomfortable feelings are acting as little alerts to let you know that something isn't right.

Read more

Environmental Allergies in Children

Many children are excited because the school year is about to start up again and these next few weeks will be their best days of summer. With the free time coming to a close, families are eager to spend time outside, away from computers and other electronics. But for anyone dealing with seasonal environmental allergies, being outdoors can lead to sneezing, asthma attacks, and even rashes.

Read more

6 Skin Allergy Conditions and Their Treatments

Allergies come in many different forms, ranging from mild reactions treatable with some quick over-the-counter medications, to others that can be severe and even lethal. While the worst case scenario is scary, there are ways to monitor and prevent potentially life-threatening reactions. Most commonly, you'll be facing much lighter, more treatable allergens. These can often be painful to deal with but won't necessarily result in risking your life.

Read more

Teal Pumpkin Project (Food Allergy Reasearch and Education - FARE)

Check out Dr. Gharfeh's segment with KCEN earlier this week on the importance of spreading food allergy awareness this Halloween.

Read more

Food Allergy Key Concepts

Even as the prevalence of food allergy is increasing (up to 8% of kids in the US have a food allergy), it seems that the myths surrounding food allergy are also increasing. One of the things I love about my job as an allergy fellow is helping patients and their families work through these myths and establish true allergy versus intolerance.

Read more

Ready to get started with Allergy & Asthma Care of Waco?

Our primary goal is to improve your quality of life. We find what triggers your allergy and asthma symptoms, provide extensive education on how to control exposure to allergens, and provide you with  a holistic approach with treatment options such as medications and immunotherapy (allergy injections).

Request an appointment