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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) consists of lung diseases that keep you from breathing normally, including chronic bronchitis (when bronchitis occurs for more than three months out of the year for two years in a row) and emphysema (a disease in which your air sacs are gradually destroyed). At IU Health, our Pulmonology & Respiratory Care specialists are experts in providing personalized care to match your needs and lifestyle.

COPD is most often caused by cigarette smoking, though air pollution and heredity may factor into the development of lung disease.

COPD is diagnosed through a series of pulmonary function tests. During these tests, pulmonologists (physicians who specialize in the treatment of the lungs) will assess how well you can hold air in your lungs, how quickly you can force air from your lungs, and the volume of your lungs.

Other diagnostic tools include chest X-rays or Computed tomography (CT) scans, which reveal blockages in the lungs; arterial blood gas tests that allow physicians to see if you lungs are adding oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from your blood; and pulse oximetry which tests the amount of oxygen in the blood.

IU Health Pulmonology & Respiratory Care physicians are experts in their fields, providing leading-edge care while researching new treatments for pulmonary diseases such as COPD. Our comprehensive system of care employs inpatient and outpatient treatments such as medications, pulmonary rehabilitation and oxygen therapy, that are tailored to fit your lifestyle. IU Health hospitals throughout the state are backed by the award-winning pulmonology services at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, which U.S.News & World Report ranked as a national leader in high quality care. Our care team strives to help you breathe better and continue to live an active lifestyle after a COPD diagnosis.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Treatment Information

COPD is treated in a variety of ways depending on the type of COPD and its severity. Prescription inhalers such as bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids are prescribed to many patients. Other patients may require oxygen therapies, where you use a mask to breathe in more concentrated doses of oxygen. Some surgeries to remove damaged portions of the lungs are used when medications and other therapies are not effective. For the most severe cases of COPD, however, a lung transplant may be necessary.

IU Health Pulmonology & Respiratory Care physicians offer a full range of treatment options for mild to severe cases of COPD, including:


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Locations & Physicians

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Support Services

By learning more, you can manage your COPD better. Visit the sites below for further education on this condition: