Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a collection of lung diseases that cause breathing problems and obstruct airflow according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. One lung disease is asthma. Asthma is a chronic disease that inflame the airways in the lungs and make it difficult to breathe. It is possible to have both diseases at once, which is known as Asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS).

                How Do They Affect Each Other?

These two lung diseases can both be serious and deadly. When struggling with both diseases, each can affect the other. When your asthma worsens, it can trigger your COPD symptoms to worsen as well. Many symptoms of the two diseases overlap, so diagnosis and understanding which is flaring can become a problem. Seeking medical attention for your diseases is critical, and it is best to continue treatment for both and avoid triggers.

                Triggers

Asthma triggers are often related to allergies and common allergens. These allergens can include pollen, molds, pet dander, dust mites, cockroaches, and smoke. It is important to note that these allergens can trigger asthma, however they will not trigger COPD. COPD is not caused or triggered by allergies. COPD can result from long-term exposure to consistent environmental risk factors. This can also cause occupational asthma.

                How Do I Treat ACOS?

Like most diseases, there is not a set approach for treating ACOS. Creating a treatment plan that works best for you will help keep your asthma and COPD at bay. Treatment may include medication, pulmonary rehabilitation, lifestyle changes, avoidance of air pollutants, and more. If you smoke, the most important part of treatment is quitting. If you are struggling to deal with your asthma and COPD, reaching out to an allergist at National Allergy & ENT will help you get on track. To schedule an appointment call (843) 797-8162 or schedule online.