Health and Fitness

What is a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is commonly called COPD. It is one of the progressive lung diseases. The most common diseases of this type include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Many people with this type of disease have the symptoms of both medical conditions. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment depends on the symptoms and the severity of the disease. It is the type of disease that blocks the air passage and doesn’t let you breathe normally. If you or anyone you know is going through critical symptoms of COPD, you can connect with the experts of Aster RV Hospital.

  • Emphysema, which is one of the types of COPD, slowly destroys the air sacs in the lungs. The disease interferes with outward airflow. This causes inflammation and the narrowing of the bronchial tubes. Also, this medical condition builds up mucus inside the bronchial tubes and blocks the air passage.
  • Emphysema affects nearly 30 million people with its great symptom of affecting the breathing system. Many people develop the disease without being unaware of the symptoms.
  • If left untreated, COPD can lead to faster progression of other underlying diseases including heart problems and worsening of the respiratory system.

What are the symptoms that signify COPD disease?

COPD makes it harder for people to breathe. At first, it can start with intermittent coughing and shortness of breath. As soon as the symptoms progress, it can become more constant where it blocks the air passage and causes difficulty in breathing.

COPD can make you feel wheezing and tightness in your chest. This is because of the formation of sputum in the chest area. At first, the symptoms may be mild, signifying that of the common cold. People can mistake the symptoms similar to winter after-effects. People with COPD develop acute exacerbations which further causes different symptoms like:

  • Difficulty in breathing especially after doing heavy exercises or uplifting any heavy object
  • mild symptoms like cough may recur
  • Urgent need to clear the throat and it becomes the primary work early in the morning, interfering with your normal routine life

There can also be the chances that the disease may cause you to have subtle changes. This way you can avoid walking up the stairs and having physical activities like daily exercising.

What are the additional worsening symptoms that are related to COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment depends on the symptoms of the disease and the symptoms of COPD progressively increase. It becomes harder to ignore as the lungs start damaging and you may experience like:

  • shortness of breath, especially while having a short period of exercise like walking up or down the stairs
  • wheezing, that is related to the noisy sound while exhalation
  • chest tightness
  • chronic cough, which may develop mucus
  • The urgent need to clear the mucus that becomes the primary task in the morning
  • Frequent causes of cold and flu that becomes the primary health symptoms of lung issues
  • lack of energy
  • fatigue

Later symptoms of COPD may include:

  • fatigue
  • swelling in different body parts like feet, ankles, or legs
  • weight loss

Symptoms can worsen with time especially if you smoke regularly or have second-hand exposure to smoking.

What are the primary causes of COPD?

Most people who get affected with COPD are at least 40 years old and have remained continuous smokers in the past. The larger you have an intake of drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or secondhand smoking exposure, the larger is the risk of developing the disease.

Other causes

  • There can be chances of developing COPD if you are exposed to certain chemicals at your workplace. Long-term exposure to air pollution and inhaling dust can also cause COPD.
  • In developing countries, homes are poorly ventilated. This forces the people to breathe poor-quality air. Also, burning fuel and cooking or heating release smoke that clogs the chest. Many genetic changes take place because of exposure to the disease.
  • Those who are affected by COPD have at least 5% of deficiency in a protein called alpha-1-antitrypsin.
  • This deficiency causes the lungs to deteriorate with time. This can also affect the lungs. Furthermore, certain genetic changes take place during the development of disease and worsen the situation.

What are the special ways for Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease treatment?

Treatment for COPD may help you ease the symptoms. It generally slows down the progressively increasing symptoms. Your healthcare provider may regularly have a test of your lungs; this may help him/her to check whether you have any respiratory disease or not. However, you can have the following treatments:

Oxygen therapy

The progressive development of disease often makes your lungs fight for oxygen. Your doctor may connect you with the portable unit of oxygen that may help you with regular treatment.

Surgery

Surgery is often reserved for the severity of the medical condition. In case other treatments fail, your healthcare provider can step forward with this type. One of the best-known surgeries for COPD is bullectomy. During the procedure, the surgeons remove the large, abnormal air sacs from the lungs. The air sacs may have become clogged due to mucus formation. Another option is volume reduction surgery, which causes the removal of upper lung tissues. Sometimes, doctors may recommend you have a lung transplantation. It can effectively cure COPD and can also lower the risk of the disease. But the problem with lung transplantation is finding the perfect donor.

A little Lifestyle changes

Certain lifestyle changes can help you avoid the symptoms and their progressive changes. The first and the special thing to avoid is smoking. It can greatly affect your lifestyle. If you smoke regularly then try to quit for some time, you will automatically feel the change. If possible try to change your workplace by quitting secondhand exposure to smoking. Get your body full of nutrients so that you have nothing but a healthy lifestyle. Talk to your doctor. Try to work in collaboration with your doctor. This may help you by bringing certain possible changes in your life.

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