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COPD and sleep: A delicate balance

Posted Aug 23 2009 10:58pm

By Howard Seidman, Photo © iStockphoto.com/Sebastian Kaulitzki

By Howard Seidman, Photo © iStockphoto.com/Sebastian Kaulitzki

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may know all about chronic coughing, fatigue and wheezing. These problems are hard enough to deal with during the day, but they may get worse at night.

COPD most often refers to the lung disorders emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In COPD, the lungs are damaged and airways are partially blocked, making it hard to breathe. At night, even normal changes in sleep breathing patterns can dangerously lower blood oxygen levels.

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