Oak Street Health

COPD & Lung Disease Doctor Near Me

Your primary care doctor is your first point of contact when it comes to diagnosing and treating chronic lung conditions, such as COPD. Patients who choose their primary physicians through Oak Street Health get convenient access to local pulmonary doctors who specialize in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung disease. These doctors may diagnose COPD and lung disease and help come up with a comprehensive management plan to relieve symptoms and slow the decline of lung function.

Become a patient.

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What is COPD?

COPD is a chronic lung condition that causes breathing difficulties. The disease worsens over time. There are two main types of COPD: emphysema and bronchitis. With emphysema, the air sacs of the lungs are damaged, depriving the body of oxygen. The most common cause of COPD is smoking. In the case of chronic bronchitis, the patient has inflammation of the airways. This leads to more mucus production and symptoms such as shortness of breath, narrowed airways, and a cough.

What are some of the symptoms of COPD?

COPD symptoms generally don’t present themselves until there’s significant lung damage. They also worsen over time, especially if smoking continues. Symptoms include:

  • Swelling in legs, feet, ankles

  • Unintended weight loss

  • Wheezing

  • Chest tightness

  • Shortness of breath, especially during physical activity

  • Lack of energy

  • A chronic cough that can produce mucus that’s clear, white, yellow or greenish

  • Frequent respiratory infections

Those with COPD may also experience exacerbations” — episodes in which symptoms become worse than usual and persist for several days. If you’re experiencing symptoms, visit a primary care doctor who can refer you to a COPD specialist for treatment.

What kind of doctor can diagnose COPD?

Your primary care doctor will monitor your lung health and can refer you to a pulmonologist (lung specialist) if COPD is suspected. These specialists will prescribe medication as well as pulmonary rehabilitation in order to ease symptoms and slow down the deterioration of lung function in COPD patients. Speak to your doctor if COPD symptoms don’t improve over time with treatment or if you notice symptoms of an infection (change in mucus or fever). If you experience more serious symptoms, such as the inability to catch your breath, a rapid heartbeat, or blueness of lips or fingernail beds, seek urgent medical attention.

Your Oak Street Health primary care doctor can work with you to monitor and treat chronic conditions like COPD and refer you to a specialist if needed. These doctors can help you manage your symptoms and help keep the disease from worsening over time. Browse our large network of doctors and find a pulmonologist near you who specializes in COPD.

Our approach isn’t one-size-fits-all. We spend more time with our patients than other primary care physicians would to ensure you get the care you need.

Our patient relations managers help guide you through the insurance process and ensure you get the most out of your insurance benefits.

Call us with questions for your doctor, to arrange prescription refills or to book your next appointment.

Common questions

  • Who can become an Oak Street Health patient?

    Our doctors specialize caring for anyone with Medicare, including Original Medicare Part B, select Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement or Medigap plans and Medicare-Medicaid Plans.

  • What hospitals do you work with?

    We work with any area hospitals that accept your insurance.

  • What if I’m not sure I want to change doctors right now?

    You're welcome to visit before you decide if Oak Street Health is right for you. Call (888) 812-1183 to learn more.

  • What insurance does Oak Street Health accept?

    We accept all forms of Medicare, including Original Medicare Part B, select Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Supplement or Medigap plans and Medicare-Medicaid Plans. Call us at (888) 812-1183 to see if we accept your specific insurance.

  • How do I or a family member become an Oak Street Health patient?

    Call (888) 812-1183 to find a Medicare doctor near you and learn more about becoming a patient at Oak Street Health. You can also stop by your nearest center or fill out a become a patient form, and we'll be in touch.

COPD & Lung Disease articles

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  • Healthy lungs — tips to help quit smoking

    There's no question that smoking is bad, but why is that? Despite all the commercials, billboards, and other information about the serious effects smoking has on the body, why is it that millions of Americans still smoke? Is it really that hard to quit? And if so, what can help?

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