President's Prescription: COPD - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription: COPD

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Even with increased awareness efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 percent of adults in the U.S. still smoke. This week, Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell tells us why it's better to quit smoking sooner rather than later.

Although there are some immediate benefits to quitting smoking, like lowered heart rate and blood pressure, it may not make tobacco users breathe any easier to know that some conditions caused by long-term cigarette smoking can't be reversed.

Chronic bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the tubes that carry air to and from your lungs. Emphysema is caused by the gradual destruction of the air sacs at the end of the smallest air passages in the lungs.

Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, lack of energy, chest tightness, and a productive, chronic cough that lasts three months a year for two consecutive years.

Quitting smoking can improve lung function by decreasing inflammation in the airways. Throwing away the cigarettes also helps regenerate the tiny hairs in your lungs that protect against infection. However, once a person develops COPD, some lung damage will most likely be permanent.

If you already smoke, quit now before you do any more damage to your respiratory system. If you don't smoke, don't start. You'll be doing yourself and your loved ones a favor.

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