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COPD Specialist

First Valley Medical Group

Internal Medicine located in California City, CA & Lancaster, CA

Around 11 million Americans suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It’s the third-leading cause of premature death, with 50-90% of the infected population undiagnosed and not receiving treatment. Kanagaratnam Sivalingam, MD, and his team at First Valley Medical Group provide the community of Lancaster, California, with diagnostics and treatments to help manage COPD so you can live with your condition for many years. Call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment today.


What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) describes progressive lung diseases that block the airflow to and from your lungs. It includes illnesses like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and refractory (nonreversible) asthma.

What are the symptoms of COPD?

The symptoms of COPD become worse over time and usually don’t appear until the disease is in an advanced stage. Some of the symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Chronic cough
  • Clear or discolored mucus
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Swollen ankles or feet

Many patients assume that shortness of breath is just a symptom of aging, but it can also indicate COPD. You can also experience episodes of COPD during which your symptoms become worse for several days at a time. 

If you notice any of these signs, see Dr. Sivalingam at First Valley Medical Group today.

What causes COPD?

Smoking and being exposed to second-hand smoke are the main causes of COPD, along with air pollution, breathing in too much dust and/or chemical fumes, and genetics.

How do you treat COPD?

Dr. Sivalingam and his team use a spirometry test to assess the condition of your lungs. If your test confirms that you have COPD, Dr. Sivalingam will offer you a number of treatment approaches:

Smoking cessation

Quitting smoking is the most important step in your treatment. It stops your condition from becoming worse.


Depending on the severity of your condition and the underlying cause of your COPD, you could be prescribed medication to relieve the symptoms you’re experiencing and to prevent your illness from becoming more serious.

Lung therapy

For severe cases, Dr. Sivalingam will suggest oxygen therapy to maintain a healthy level of oxygen in your blood.


For very advanced cases that aren’t helped by medication, Dr. Sivalingam can recommend surgical procedures like a lung-volume reduction surgery — to remove the diseased parts of your lungs — or a lung transplant.

Lifestyle changes

Dr. Sivalingam works with you to create a pulmonary rehab plan that combines exercise training, nutrition guidance, and counseling.

To get tested for COPD or for help managing your symptoms, call Family Valley Medical Group or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment today.