Volusia Medical Center

Family Medicine Clinic & Preventative Medicine Specialists located in New Smyrna Beach, FL & Daytona Beach, FL

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, affects approximately 12 million people in the United States, but this may only represent half of the problem as just as many cases may go undiagnosed. At Volusia Medical Center, John Yee, MD, has extensive experience helping patients breathe easier with the latest treatments to preserve lung function. If you’re struggling to breathe because of COPD, call one of the three offices in Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, or Deland, Florida, or use the online booking tool to set up an appointment.


What is COPD?

COPD is a catchall term for several conditions that progressively compromise the function of your lungs, including:


This type of lung disease occurs when the walls of your alveoli (air sacs) break down, creating much larger air sacs that don’t absorb oxygen as effectively.

Chronic bronchitis

If your bronchial tubes become damaged after years of irritation and swelling, it can lead to problems with breathing and coughing up mucus. This occurs because you’re losing your cilia — the hair-like structures that move mucus up and out of your airways.

Refractory (nonreversible) asthma

This type of asthma doesn’t respond to traditional medications, keeping your airways tight and swollen.

What causes COPD?

Because COPD encompasses several different forms, the causes depend upon which type of COPD your doctor identifies. For example, if you suffer from chronic bronchitis or asthma that doesn’t respond to medications, these conditions can lead to COPD.

Far and away, the biggest culprit behind most cases of COPD, however, lies in smoking. In fact, 20-30% of smokers develop COPD as a direct result of their habit.

What are the symptoms of COPD?

Here again, the symptoms of your COPD may vary depending upon the underlying cause. That said, the hallmarks of COPD include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Excessive mucus
  • Tightness in your chest
  • Repeated respiratory infections
  • Fatigue

The effect that COPD can have on you tends to progress, making the simple act of breathing an increasingly tricky affair.

How is COPD treated?

When you see your Volusia Medical Center provider, the team first evaluates your condition through pulmonary testing, a review of your symptoms, and advanced imaging. Once your doctor has a better idea of what’s causing your pulmonary issues, the team recommends a treatment plan that’s best for your unique situation. This plan may include the following:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Bronchodilators
  • Oral or inhalable steroids
  • Oxygen therapy

Tackling COPD usually takes a multi-pronged effort, and you need to do your part by making some significant lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking. Rest assured, Volusia Medical Center is with you every step of the way, ensuring you have the tools you need to breathe easier.

If you suspect you have COPD, call Volusia Medical Center, or request a consultation using the online scheduling tool.