Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The University of Louisville COPD Management program offers the highest quality of care in the management and treatment of COPD.

Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) is an illness that affects the lungs, which makes breathing difficult. It can also result in shortness of breath, chronic cough, and sputum production.

Many conditions are considered COPD. These include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and Alpha1 – antitrypsin deficiency:

  • Emphysema: The walls of the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs are damaged, so they can't push all the used air out of your lungs. This air remains trapped, so there's less room for fresh, oxygen-rich air to enter. People with emphysema do not get enough oxygen and do not remove as much carbon dioxide from their blood. You may notice that you have a hard time exhaling, and that you have limited energy.

  • Chronic Bronchitis: The airways become swollen and tight, making it hard for air to move in or out of your lungs. More mucus may form in your airways, making it even more difficult to breathe. You may notice yourself clearing your throat repeatedly, or you may feel like you have a respiratory infection, except the symptoms do not go away.

  • Alpha1: antitrypsin deficiency (AAT deficiency) is one cause of COPD that occurs in a very small number of patients. It is genetic, meaning it is passed on by one or both parents at birth. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is an inherited form of emphysema (em-fuh-ZEE-muh). People with the condition, also known as AAT Deficiency or alpha-1, do not have enough of a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) in their blood.

The U of L Pulmonary Physicians provides a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of COPD. In the COPD Management Program, the patient has access to educational classes along with a Case Manager, who is a liaison between patients and healthcare providers.

The University of Louisville Pulmonary Care & Performance Laboratory features state-of-the art pulmonary equipment and offers a wide variety of respiratory services.

For more information of the U of L COPD Management Program, or to schedule an appointment, please call 502-588-4600.


Meet our COPD team: