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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Crucial Facts!

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a systemic and disabling fatal condition with a progressive course, characterized by lung function impairment with not fully reversible airflow limitation. It represents a major health problem worldwide and it is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality.  Many, who suffer from such a condition, have a combination of emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma. You may also hear COPD referred to as COAD (Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease), COLD (Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) or CAL (Chronic Airways Limitation).

People at Risk

Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. People who have a family history are more likely to develop the disease if they also smoke.Long-term exposure to other lung irritants may also be a factor. Examples of other lung irritants include passive smoking, air pollution and chemical fumes and dust from the environment or workplace. Most people who suffer from such a condition are at least 40 years old when symptoms begin. Although uncommon, people younger than 40 can also suffer from this condition.

Symptoms of COPD   

COPD symptoms include the following:
  • A cough that doesn’t go away.
  • Sputum (mucus) production, especially in the morning.
  • Shortness of breath, especially with exertion (for example, walking, climbing stairs).
  • Wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe).
  • Chest tightness.
Shortness of breath is the COPD symptom that most undiagnosed people go to see a doctor. At first, shortness of breath is only noticeable with physical exertion but eventually, breathlessness will hamper routine activities of living, like washing, dressing and cooking. A chronic cough may at first be irregular but later may occur every day. Also Read: Signs to Stop Water Fasting: Boundary Between Health and Harm

Testing for COPD

If your doctor thinks you may have COPD, he or she may recommend a test called spirometry. It is also called Pulmonary Function Testing.Spirometry testing may be done in your doctor’s office or in a hospital. During the test:
  • A tube is connected to the spirometer.
  • You place your mouth on the tube and take the deepest breath possible.
  • You then blow out as hard and as fast as possible.
Also Read: Vitamin E for Hair: A Detailed Guide on its Benefits and Usage

Treating COPD

There is no cure for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Damage done to the lungs is permanent and causes air to be trapped in the lungs even after a person exhales, resulting in shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. While treatments can help to alleviate symptoms and improve airflow, they may not cure them. Prevention is the best cure: don’t smoke or stop smoking immediately to reduce your risk for developing COPD.Also Read:  How Taekwondo Is The New Fitness Mantra For Heart, Body and MindDisclaimer:  The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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