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Copd - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

What is COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease? 

COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a lung disorders which is an assortment of chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive airway disease, and emphysema.  People with this disease have an obstruction in the airways and difficulties in breathing because of the narrowing of the airways. COPD is seen more in men than women due to the percentage of male smokers being the high.


Signs and Symptoms of COPD

  • People feel breathlessness particularly when they are physically active.
  • People have expectoration of phlegm along with persistent cough.
  • People have recurrent chest infections
Causes of COPD
  • Smoking – Smoking is one of the important causes of COPD, the risk increases in several folds in smoking individuals than non-smokers. The risk further rises in people who smoke for longer durations and are heavy smokers. Smoking causes scarring of the inner walls of the airways leading to the raised risk for COPD. This inflammation over a period of time leads to permanent damage to the lungs. The walls of the airways become thicker and thus produce more mucus. Damage to the air walls leads to emphysema and the lungs lose their elasticity when breathing.
  • Genetic Disorders
  • Air pollution
  • Dust and fumes
COPD Diagnosis

Early diagnosis and management of COPD may help prevent further damage to the lungs. Hence COPD needs to be diagnosed as soon as possible.  Imaging studies such as X rays are used for the diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Management of COPD
The first to be taken to treat COPD is to stop smoking completely, as the damage that has already been occurred cannot be reversed, at least the progression can be slow down.

Treatment for COPD
  • The treatment for COPD usually involves relieving the COPD symptoms with medicines that are usually taken through inhalators known as bronchodilators, which help in dilating the narrowed airways.
  • There is also an option for surgery, but it is opted for people with severe COPD.
  • To a certain extent, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can be prevented through lifestyle changes that are by quitting smoking completely and by avoiding exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollutants, dust etc.