COPD Conditions & Services
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for several conditions that affect breathing, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Whatever type of lung disease you may have, you'll find advanced, research-based care at Cedars-Sinai. You'll have access to the latest diagnostic techniques and get a personalized treatment plan to help slow disease progression, manage symptoms and keep you living a more active life.
Learn more about COPD, and the related conditions we treat:
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD): This rare genetic condition—which must be passed down from both parents—leads to low levels, or a complete absence, of a protein that protects the lungs and liver. Its symptoms are common to many other lung disorders, including shortness of breath and wheezing, and it's found in an estimated 1-5% of patients diagnosed with COPD. Lung patients at Cedars-Sinai are given a specific blood test to diagnose this condition.
Chronic bronchitis: This is one of the conditions included in a diagnosis of COPD. It's the result of long-term inflammation of the airways (bronchi) in your lungs, leading to breathing difficulties and a wet cough. There's no cure for chronic bronchitis, but there are medical, therapeutic and lifestyle actions you can take to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): This progressive lung disease is diagnosed when 3 conditions are present—emphysema, chronic bronchitis and blocked airflow in and out of the lungs. Many people don't realize they have COPD until their lungs are already damaged. Although it can't be cured, early diagnosis and effective treatments can help alleviate symptoms and often slow the disease's progression.
Emphysema: Another condition included in a COPD diagnosis, emphysema occurs when the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs become permanently damaged. This damage can take a long time to develop, and is mostly caused by smoking, as well as exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution, chemical fumes, dust or other lung irritants. Treatments are focused on limiting damage to the lungs and controlling the symptoms. In extreme cases, lung surgery or a lung transplant may be needed.
Here are some of the treatments offered at Cedars-Sinai:
Lung transplant: If you're experiencing severe symptoms and having difficulty breathing, your doctor may recommend a lung transplant or lung volume reduction surgery.
Medications: Bronchodilators, steroids and anti-inflammatory agents can help manage your symptoms. The advanced lung disease team at Cedars-Sinai will find the best medication, or combination of medications, to improve breathing and other problems, and make adjustments as needed. Patients with advanced COPD may also need oxygen therapy.
Physical and occupational therapy: Specialized exercises can help you manage symptoms by strengthening your arms, legs and breathing muscles, while occupational training can help you function better in everyday life.
Pulmonary rehabilitation: Lung specialists will create a personalized program to help improve your health and manage your disease. It includes breathing retraining, muscle strengthening and conditioning, and advice on medications and nutrition.
Smoking Cessation Program: The pulmonary team at Cedars-Sinai offers a free plan to help you quit smoking for good. Therapies such as medication, counseling and behavioral modification will be personalized for your unique needs.