House Call: Respiratory Disease – Signs, Symptoms and Screening
Hundreds of millions of people worldwide currently suffer from respiratory disease, also known as lung disease, with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) being two of the most prevalent forms.
Respiratory disease often presents with symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness of the chest, coughing, decreased exercise capacity, chest congestion, and swelling of the legs.
If an individual is experiencing signs of respiratory disease, it is important for them to discuss these symptoms with their primary care physician. Their doctor may order a chest X-ray and/or pulmonary function test, and measure the patient’s oxygen saturation. These non-invasive tests are done in the office setting, and help diagnose and detect the severity of lung disease.
Many cases of respiratory disease are preventable by avoiding tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke. COPD and lung cancer are the top causes of respiratory disease deaths, with smoking being the number one risk factor.
Knowing the symptoms and risk factors of respiratory disease is the first step toward prevention and seeking proper medical care for the condition. Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care physicians, pulmonologists, and other related healthcare providers dedicated to educating the community about respiratory disease and providing top notch treatment for those with the condition.
Dr. Brent McQuaid is an adult pulmonary and critical care specialist at LeBauer Pulmonology and a member of Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. McQuaid is a 2005 graduate of University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed his residency at University of Alabama, and a fellowship in pulmonary, allergy and critical care at Duke University Medical Center.