Northern Respiratory Specialist



hat is Chronic Bronchitis or Emphysema ?

 It is a disease of the lungs characterized by the destruction of the alveoli and a spasm of the breathing tubes.  Alveoli are air sacks at the end of the breathing tubes.  In the aveoli oxygen is taken up by the blood and carbon dioxide is removed.  In addition,  patients with chronic bronchitis have excessive mucus production.  Most patients have a combination of Bronchitis and Emphysema.  Patients experience cough and sputum  production due to the inflamation and spasm of the breathing tubes.


Patients are unusually susceptible to infections of the respiratory tract. Continued damage to the lungs occurs due to smoking and repeated infections.  This damage is severe and rapid  in certain individuals who lack an enzyme called alpha-l-antitrypsin ( it protects the lungs against infection and damage from smoking.).  The corner stone of treatment revolves around the prevention of infections, cessation of smoking, and relief of the spasm of the breathing tubes.  

During the winter time when the flu and colds are running rampant, it is advisable  to try and avoid crowded  places and contact with people who are ill.


 A yearly influenza vaccine is also highly recommended.

You may have been prescribed certain medication, such as Daliresp.  The purpose of these medications is to relieve the spasm of the breathing tubes.  For these medications to be effective they must be taken on a regular basis with monitoring of drug levels at periodic intervals. Some patients may experience unpleasant side effects such as nausea, headaches, irritability or altered sleep patterns. Most of these side effects occur when the medications are first started  and resolve with continued use or a change in dosage. 


You may also be using inhalers: Ventolin, Alupent, Proventil, Spiriva, Advair, Dulera, Symbicort etc.  It is very important that these medications be taken as they are prescribed in order to get the maximum benefit. Proper technique in using your inhaler is essential to their being effective. We will be happy to review proper technique with you.  Another important factor is living a healthy lifestyle including a program of regular physical activity, exercise, correct diet and fluid intake, adequate rest and reduction of stress.  Should you have any further questions, please make an appointment to see one of our doctors

Early Treatment of Infections

If you notice any change in the color of your sputum (yellow or green),  you should start taking the antibiotic that have been prescribed for you and notify your doctor.  If you do not have a prescription, please contact our office.