We create new possibilities for life We create new possibilities for life

WhatsApp Appointment

Orchard  +65 8111 7777

Novena  +65 8111 5777

  • Mount Elizabeth

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

  • What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a general term for many lung diseases that affect breathing. It refers to lung diseases that are chronic (long term), progressive (developing) and mostly irreversible. The most common lung diseases included under this term are emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

    COPD damages the airways that carry air to the lungs. The airway walls become narrowed and swollen, therefore obstructing the airflow in and out of the lungs. Some forms of COPD can scar the lungs and lead to increased airway resistance, while others induce the excessive secretion of phlegm that the lungs are not able to clear.

  • There are some risk factors that increase the chance of COPD:

    • Air pollution including biomass fuel used for cooking, or pollutants in the workplace like dusts and chemicals may also lead to the development of the disease.
    • Smoking is the main risk factor inmost COPD cases. It leads to the damage and swelling of the lining of the lung airways.
    • Those who lack a specific protein (alpha-1 antitrypsin), whose role is to protect the lung, have a greater risk of developing emphysema.
    • Those who suffered from regular respiratory infections during childhood are more prone to developing COPD.
  • The symptoms of COPD include:

    • Blue tinge to the skin due to reduced oxygen supply
    • Chronic coughing
    • Coughing up phlegm
    • Dizziness
    • Tiredness
    • Shortness of breath at rest in severe cases
    • Shortness of breath with exertion
    • Stiffness in chest
    • Swelling of feet, ankles and legs
    • Unintended weight loss
    • Wheezing
  • The lung damage caused by COPD is irreversible. However, there are treatment options available to ease symptoms and reduce the damage to the lungs. A doctor will evaluate the condition and suggest the most suitable treatment options. These may include:

    • Stop smoking – the most important measure needed to slow the progression of the disease and increase the rate of survival
    • Home oxygen therapy – for severe COPD as blood oxygen can be constantly low. Oxygen is supplied by using an oxygen concentrator or oxygen tanks
    • Lung transplant – for extreme COPD cases
    • Lung volume reduction surgery to remove the diseased part of the lung – for certain patients (ie. those who suffer from emphysema)
    • Medication – including inhalers and tablets to help open the airways, and antibiotics and steroids to manage swelling of the airways
    • Pulmonary rehabilitation – for those with severe COPD. This involves exercise training, patient education, dietary guidance and psychological counselling
    • Yearly flu vaccines as well as vaccination against pneumococcus (most common cause of pneumonia)
    • Cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat)
    • Frequent respiratory infections including pneumonia
    • Heart failure
    • Sleep disorders
  • Our Specialists

    There are 20 SpecialistsView All

    • Alvin Ng Choon Yong

      Specialty:
      Internal Medicine
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      The Respiratory Practice
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #11-13/14/15
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      68350035
    • Amy Elaine Lyn-Hwa Stebbings

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      The Chest and Internal Medicine Clinic
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #10-25
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      6694 4333
    • Chan Kenneth Ping Wah

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Respiratory Medical Associates
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #04-33
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      67344788
    • Chan Tiong Beng

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Cough & Chest Specialist Pte Ltd
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #17-02
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      67387000
    • Cheong Tuck Hong

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Cheong Chest & Medical Clinic
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #10-08
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      67343808
    • Chew Huck Chin

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Respiratory Medical Associates
      Location:
      38 Irrawaddy Road #04-33
      Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
      Singapore 329563
      Contact No:
      67344788
    • Chin Nyat Kooi

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      N K Chin Chest & Medical Clinic
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #12-01
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      68340738
    • Eng Cher Tiew Philip

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Philip Eng Respiratory & Medical Clinic
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #14-14
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      68360378
    • Hui Kok Pheng

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      Hui Kok Pheng Respiratory & Interna
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #11-03
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      68874360
    • Jim Teo Yeow Kwan

      Specialty:
      Respiratory Medicine
      Sub-specialty:
      Intensive Care Medicine

      View Profile

      Clinic:
      The Respiratory Practice
      Location:
      3 Mount Elizabeth #11-13/14/15
      Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
      Singapore 228510
      Contact No:
      68350035

    There are 20 SpecialistsView All

  • Related Health Articles

  • Multimedia