What is COPD?
COPD is an obstructive lung disease which is usually characterized by long term or chronic breathing issues. The name chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is elf explanatory i.e. it is a long term (chronic) medical condition(disease) that affects lungs(pulmonary) because your airways have become narrower(obstructive).
The most commonly known cause of COPD is tobacco smoking, the pollution content in the air and racial and genetic characteristics. The common reasons of air pollution are smoke form wildfires, chemicals from industries, burning of wood and coal, etc. What happens is that when you’re exposed to such factors for a long time it generates a response in the lungs, achieving narrowing of the little airways and breakdown of lung tissue.
Difference between asthma and COPD
The diagnosis of COPD is made via lung function tests which measure how much air you have exhaled out in one full breath. Although, the two conditions might sound similar but they’re different in a way that lung function test results don’t improve much with the use of a bronchodilator in case of COPD however, if you’re asthmatic they will improve after the medication.
Most occurrences of COPD can be reduced by decreasing the exposure of the affected individual to risk factors. This might work especially when no specific cause is known. It is always advised that patients with COPD should not take steroids and avoid smoking too. People who are greatly affected by COPD are often hospitalized for longer durations with long term medications.
Kinds of COPD
COPD is usually divided into two categories Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis.
It occurs when your lungs’ air sacs (alveoli) that divides air ways become damaged and ruptured over the time as a result an enormous air sac is created with less surface area to exchange oxygen. It can’t transport oxygen, that’s why you take less amount of oxygen in your blood.
You feel the shortens of breath due to the fact that air is being trapped in your lungs.
As the name suggests it occurs over the time and characterized by chronic cough with phlegm or sputum. If you feel difficulty in breathing for over three months then you are affected by chronic bronchitis.
Hair like fibers called cilia help to remove the mucus from your bronchitis. Cilia are damaged or removed when you’re suffering with chronic bronchitis. Due to this it is much harder to remove mucus because if your coughing rate is high then there are more chances to have more mucus.
In the United State there are several types of smoking and tobacco option available and even the number of people using them is higher. If you stay near smokers then you inhale large amount of used smoke, as a result it might cause the asthma or COPD. If you smoke and have COPD, it will all in all crumble faster. Exposure to building equipment’s, paint fumes, chemical fumes for long durations might also put you at risk of developing these conditions. It’s exceptional, yet your characteristics could place you in peril for COPD.
What Are the Symptoms?
In the start, you are most likely to have no symptoms or signs. In any case, as the disease progresses faster, you may see these essential signs of COPD such as coughing up lots of organic liquid, shortness of breath, wheezing or squeaking when you’re tired. Your doctor may recommend various tests to block other lung issues, for instance, asthma or cardiovascular breakdown. These might include:
- More lung functioning tests.
- Chest X-rays can help in ruling out emphysema, and other lung issues, or cardiovascular breakdown.
- CT scan, which makes a clear picture of your lungs and can berate the expert on the possibility that you need an operation or in case you have cell breakdown in the lungs.
- Tests to know how our lungs take oxygen and release carbon dioxide.
What Are the Treatments for COPD?
There’s no quick fix, so the goal of treatment is to treat your symptoms and reduce the severity of the disease. Your doctor will moreover have to hinder or treat any disarrays and improve your overall individual fulfillment.
Your treatment plan may include:
- These medications might help in dilation of the air ways to facilitate oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange.
- They lower the inflammation in the airways and opens them. They also reduce the overly active immune system.
- Combination inhalers. These inhalers are usually made by making a combination with steroids.
- Your health care worker or doctor may prescribe these to fight off any infections.
- Roflumilast(Daliresp). It hinders flare-ups in people whose COPD is associated with chronic bronchitis.
- Flu or pneumonia antibodies. These vaccinations cut down your risk for these illnesses.
- Pulmonary rebuilding. This program consolidates work out plans, and coordinating to help you stay as strong and dynamic as possible.
- Oxygen treatment. You may expect this to reduce shortness of breath, fulfill the oxygen demands of your entire body.
Intricacies of COPD
COPD can cause various other clinical issues, such as:
- Respiratory diseases. COPD can elevate the risk of acquiring colds, seasonal infections, pneumonia and flu. As a result, you won’t be able to breathe in oxygen properly and more damage might occur. What can help here is yearly vaccinations for such infections and conditions.
- Heart issues. Although it’s unclear but having COPD might increase the chances of getting heart issues. Halting smoking may cut down the risk of heart issues.
- Lung problems. People with COPD will undoubtedly get cell breakdown in the lungs. Halting smoking can help.
- High circulatory strain in airways leading to lungs. This condition is known as pulmonary hypertension.
- You might not be able to live your life to the fullest if you are not able to breathe properly. Additionally, living with a progressing illness can provoke awfulness. Your doctor might refer you to a therapist if you feel pathetic, defenseless, or accept that you may be debilitating.