Without our breath, we wouldn’t be alive. Every part of our body, down to its cells, needs oxygen to live. In just a single day, the average person breathes in and out about 22,000 times. When breathing is impacted by conditions or disorders, this can quickly affect your health, daily activities, and quality of life. This is where our New York City board-certified internist and pulmonologist Dr. Leonard Horovitz can provide you with the treatment and care you need.
Types of Pulmonary Illnesses
Let’s first take a look at the most common respiratory conditions that can impact the lungs and airways. Some of the most common problems include,
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Chronic bronchitis
- Cystic fibrosis
Preventing Pulmonary or Respiratory Diseases
One of the best ways to protect the health of your lungs is to avoid smoking or to quit smoking as soon as possible. Tobacco usage of any kind can be detrimental to the lungs, leading to problems such as COPD, emphysema, and lung cancer. Quit smoking now to improve your lung health. Another contributor to respiratory disease is being in environments with pollutants and toxic chemicals. If you are working in these environments it’s important that you are wearing the appropriate gear to prevent these chemicals from getting into the lungs.
Treating Pulmonary Illnesses
How we treat pulmonary disease depends on the type of disease you’re dealing with. More than likely, we will need to perform a chest x-ray or imaging tests to be able to make an accurate diagnosis. Once we’ve determined the cause then Dr. Horovitz and his team can create a treatment plan to help manage your condition. Here are the best ways to treat those common pulmonary diseases.
Asthma: While there is no cure for asthma we can help patients control their symptoms through a regular controller inhaler, which you will use daily to reduce inflammation in the airways, as well as a rescue inhaler that should only be used at the very first signs of an asthma attack.
COPD: Quitting smoking is the most important thing you can do to prevent this problem from getting worse. Other treatment options include inhaled or oral steroids, bronchodilators, oxygen therapy, and pulmonary rehab.
Emphysema: Medications such as bronchodilators and inhaled steroids, as well as pulmonary rehab and nutritional counseling, can help manage symptoms and slow the disease’s progress. In more severe cases, a patient may require regular oxygen.
Chronic bronchitis: This condition can be improved through living a healthy lifestyle, medications (steroids and bronchodilators), oxygen therapy, and pulmonary rehab. Sometimes a lung transplant is required.
Pneumonia: Most pneumonia will clear up on its own with rest and home care; however, more severe infections may require antibiotics and oxygen therapy.
Cystic fibrosis: While there is no cure for this condition, there are medications that can help to control symptoms and prevent chest infections. Airway clearance techniques, as well as regular exercise, can also improve symptoms of CF.
If you are experiencing issues breathing, or you are living with lung disease, Dr. Horovitz and his New York City team can provide you with comprehensive long-term and effective care. Call our practice at (212) 744-3001 to schedule an evaluation.