COPD: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Assistance

November 28,2022 — Breathe in… breathe out. Most of life begins with breath. In fact, we tend to take something that seems so normal for granted until it’s hard for us — like when we have a cold or scratchy throat. But for those with COPD, breathing without struggle is a luxury. 

What Is COPD? 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. This includes diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, with approximately 16 million Americans are affected by COPD each year. 

Symptoms for COPD may include: 

  • Shortness of breath, especially during physical activities 
  • Wheezing 
  • Chest tightness 
  • Chronic coughing producing mucus 
  • Frequent respiratory infections 
  • Loss of energy 
  • Weight loss 
  • Swelling in legs 

Most with COPD see a doctor if they can’t catch their breath, experience severe blueness of lips or fingernail beds, a rapid heartbeat, or feel foggy and have trouble concentrating. 

COPD Treatment 

Treatment for COPD consists of a few options such as bronchodilators which are medications that usually come in inhalers, inhaled steroids, combination inhalers, oral steroids, phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitors, theophylline, or antibiotics. There is also a new procedure called targeted lung denervation that is being tested. However, these therapies can be costly for patients with COPD. 

The annual cost of COPD is close to $50 billion each year. This breakdown includes $29.5 billion for direct care, $12.4 billion for mortality costs, and $8.0 billion for morbidity costs. With such high medical expenses, patients with COPD often seek financial assistance. 

Finding Financial Assistance 

This is where Patient Assistance Programs like Accessia Health come in. We offer financial assistance to patients who qualify, and can help pay for copays, premiums, and more. Though, none of this is possible without our donors. 

Giving Back and Giving Hope 

Providing financial assistance to patients with COPD wouldn’t be possible without generous support from caring people like you. 

You can change a patient’s life by donating to our patient programs. Click here to make a gift today.


*Please consult with your healthcare provider or seek professional medical treatment if you have any medical concerns. Please do not disregard any professional medical advice or take any delay in seeking medical treatment based on anything you may have read in this blog, on this website or in any linked materials contained within. Thank You.