Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and asthma can both make breathing labored and inflame your lungs. These diseases are very different, but can be confused, especially if you’re diagnosed in adulthood. Dr. Ray Santos and Dr. Ritu Sharma can provide reliable screenings, diagnosis, and treatment to help you manage asthma or COPD, regardless of your age. Residents in the Jersey City, New Jersey area, should seek their expert care at DRS Medical Associates.
COPD describes a serious version of respiratory diseases, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It’s characterized by a decrease in your airflow and inflammation in the tissues along your airway.
COPD usually develops in people after age 40, with smoking being a major contributor to its development. Between 20% and 30% of smokers develop it. Less than 1% of COPD patients develop it due to a genetic cause.
COPD progresses with time. Once diagnosed, it’s a long-term condition and can’t be cured.
The symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. A doctor may diagnose you with asthma at any age, often in childhood. It may result from a combination of genetic factors and environmental conditions, but researchers aren’t entirely certain as to why some people get asthma. Like COPD, it’s also a long-term condition that may or may not progress as you age.
Certain substances can trigger symptoms of asthma in affected people. These include:
Smoke definitely aggravates COPD as do certain pollutants. However, COPD sufferers are most susceptible to increased symptoms due to a respiratory tract infection, such as the flu or pneumonia.
Both COPD and asthma are lifelong conditions, but some children will outgrow asthma when they reach adulthood.
Daily management of symptoms is possible for both respiratory ailments, but asthma is usually easier to control.
Lung function is reversible in people with asthma, but not those with COPD. Even mild cases of COPD will eventually progress to a severe deterioration in lung function.
Medications, including inhaled steroids and bronchodilators, help resolve the immediate symptoms of both COPD and asthma.
COPD sufferers may also need to receive oxygen and cardiovascular support.
If asthma is prompted by an allergy, allergy medications can help. The doctors may also recommend long-term asthma control medications.
Dr. Santos and Dr. Sharma will help find the therapy that best controls your respiratory symptoms and improves your quality of life.
At DRS Medical Associates, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
"Dr. Sharma was friendly, informative and straight forward when it came to health concerns. She took time to get all the medical history and shared a lot of knowledge."
"I have been to DRS several times and seen Dr Ritu. She is a very very good doctor who truly cares about her patients. "
"Not once did I feel rush and both doctors took their time to answer my questions. I didn't leave there thinking that they were pushing me into anything either. "
"I am so thankful for his passion and knowledge. He is officially our family doctor here in JC with a great location and hours!"
"I have been with Medical associates for the last 2 months and like them a lot. They respected my wishes and made sure I got the correct treatment."
"Our experience has been with Dr. Santos. He is a patient and kind physician who listens and provides compassionate feedback about childcare."
"Dr. Santos was great. He took the time to understand all my symptoms and any any history since I was a new patient. Did not feel rushed and felt very comfortable."
"I see Dr. Sharma and she has always been very patient in listening to my history and accurate with her diagnosis."
"Dr Sharma is really good doctor. She is thorough, very diligent, and takes her time to listen before arriving at a diagnosis. Highly recommend."
"Excellent doctors!!! Wonderful staff !!"
"The office is very clean, comfortable, and nicely decorated. I did not wait at all to be seen. Highly recommend this practice!"
"Greatest service! Best docs! Dr. Ritu & Dr. Ray are extremely friendly and patience. Highly recommended"
"I had a great experience with Dr. Sharma. I did not have to wait and she was very thorough. I have now found a doctor I love!!!"
"Dr. Ray cares about giving his patients quality service and attention. Highly recommended."
"Her bedside manner is awesome. She takes the time to explain things and answer questions and not trying to rush you out like other doctors."