COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease): Overview

This article explains about COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, causes of COPD, how COPD diagnosed, how to treat COPD and much more.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease): Overview

COPD is a lung disease that causes difficulty breathing. This is caused by lung damage for many years, usually by smoking.

COPD is often a combination of two diseases:

  • Chronic bronchitis – inflammation of the respiratory tract and increased production of mucus. This can narrow or block the airways, making breathing difficult.
  • Emphysema – a disease of the respiratory tract, characterized by a pathological expansion of the air spaces of the terminal bronchioles, which is accompanied by destructive changes in the alveolar walls of COPD, is aggravated over time. Health can not be restored easily, but damage can be prevented.

Causes of COPD

COPD is almost always caused by smoking. Prolonged inhalation of tobacco smoke irritates the respiratory tract and destroys the elastic fibers in the lungs. Risk factors also include the inhalation of chemicals, dust and contaminated air for a long period of time.

Usually, lung damage does not occur at an early age, COPD symptoms begin to appear in people older than 60 years.

More susceptible COPD patients who suffered serious infections of the lungs in childhood. People who fall ill with emphysema at 30-40 years may have abnormalities called antitrypsin deficiency alpha 1. But this happens very rarely.

Symptoms of COPD

The main symptoms are:

  • Prolonged (chronic) cough.
  • Mucus when coughing.
  • Shortness of breath, which is aggravated by physical exertion.

Because COPD is aggravated, difficulty breathing can occur even when performing simple actions – eating or dressing. Patients often lose weight and become weaker. From time to time, the symptoms can become aggravated and aggravated.

How is COPD diagnosed?

For diagnosis of COPD, a physician:

  • Perform a survey and listen to the lungs.
  • Ask questions about past illnesses and smoking.
  • Spends spirometry.
  • Assign chest X-ray and other tests to exclude other problems that could cause symptoms.


How to treat COPD

The only way to slow the development of COPD is to quit smoking. This is the main point on which the course of the disease depends. Regardless of how long you smoke, giving up this habit will stop lung damage.

If it’s difficult for you to stop smoking, consult a doctor. He will give the best advice and, if necessary, prescribe certain drugs.

The doctor will prescribe a treatment that will ease the symptoms and improve your health.

  • Medications can help ease breathing. If you are prescribed an inhaler, use it according to the instructions.
  • The program of rehabilitation of the lungs will help you in the future to avoid exacerbations.
  • Periodically you will use oxygen.

Patients with COPD are more susceptible to lung infections, so doctors strongly recommend that they undergo an annual vaccination against influenza and pneumonia.

At home, patients should:

  • Avoid exposure to irritants such as smoke, dust, or dry air.
  • Use air conditioner or air filter.
  • To have a rest during the day.
  • Perform regular physical activity.
  • It is good and balanced to eat. If you lose weight, consult a therapist or a nutritionist.

What you need to remember

  • Sudden exacerbations of the disease: As COPD aggravates, sudden exacerbations of the disease can occur. In such cases it is necessary to consult a doctor or, in severe cases, an emergency room.
  • Depression and anxiety: if you have a note of depression, see a doctor. Recommended medicine and support groups will help you cope with emotional disorders.

COPD – Health Tools

Health tools will help you make the right decision and the necessary measures to improve your health.

  • Powder inhaler
  • Dosing inhaler
  • Avoid losing weight
  • Avoid Trigger Factors
  • Cleansing the lungs
  • Compliance with a healthy diet
  • Training for easy breathing
  • Physical exercise to improve well-being
  • Oxygen therapy
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease): Overview
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