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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) - by Courtney Bowen, MD

Dr. Courtney Bowen
Dr. Courtney Bowen

I really want to take this opportunity to say thank you to so many people who have

made it much easier to be the new doctor in town. The physicians and staff at Medical

Associates of the Shoals have made my launch into their practice a pleasure. I’m also

grateful to the staff at Helen Keller Hospital for being generous with information and

assistance. Of course, my new patients have been kind and informative with lots of tips

about living in the Shoals.

I always try to use this platform to write about conditions that I think are greatly

impacting our community, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, or COPD, has

really been on my mind lately. You may know that COPD refers to diseases that cause

air flow blockage and breathing related problems. It includes emphysema, chronic

bronchitis, and in some cases, asthma. In the United States, tobacco smoke is a key

factor in the development and progression of COPD. What’s very concerning is that

more than 50% of adults with low pulmonary function are not aware that they have


According to the CDC, compared to adults without COPD, adults with COPD are more

likely to experience any of the following:

  • Activity limitations, such as difficulty walking or climbing stairs

  • Inability to work

  • The need for special equipment, such as portable oxygen tanks

  • Inability to engage in social activities

  • Confusion or memory loss

  • More emergency room visits, or overnight hospital stays

  • Other chronic diseases such as arthritis, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and stroke

  • Depression or other mental or emotional conditions

How can COPD be prevented? First and foremost, quit smoking and avoid inhaling

tobacco smoke! Treatment of COPD requires a careful and thorough evaluation by a

physician. A subsequent plan of treatment should be developed based on the findings

of the evaluation.

If you think you or someone you love might be suffering from COPD, check with your

physician right away. If you aren’t currently under the care of a physician, please call

our office and schedule a time to come in. We will run a few simple tests to determine

what’s going on and the level of care you may need. My goal is to help you to achieve

the best quality of life possible.

To schedule an appointment, just call our new patient line at 256-383-4447 ext. 124,

visit and click on New Patients, or email us at We’ll get you scheduled as quickly as possible.


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