COPD is an acronym for Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a group of illnesses that affect one’s lungs and can be severe in many cases. One of the main COPD consequences is a limitation in airflow that sometimes is irreversible.
Typically, this limitation progresses and is related to the lungs’ reaction to chemicals and harmful elements in the environment.
More than 60 million people all over the world are diagnosed with COPD, and, unfortunately, the number grows every year. If you want to avoid this sad condition, check our recommendations and information below.
How COPD Starts
At the very beginning, one might not suspect COPD in their lungs. Some people confuse this disease with flu, for example. However, there are a couple of mild COPD symptoms that should force one to go to a doctor.
Among such symptoms are the following:
It can be rather mild, but it keeps coming back. If you notice such a cough, consider your lungs and throat checkup.
Shortness of breath
This symptom typically occurs after you do some exercise.
A wish to clear a throat
If something bothers you in your throat and makes you wish to clear it, especially in the morning, it can also be a sign to make an appointment with a pulmonologist.
After a while, if those symptoms are ignored but COPD keeps developing, a person can feel other, more severe symptoms and conditions, including disturbing chronic cough, tightness in the chest, constant fatigue, wheezing, weight loss, and other effects.
Reasons for COPD
Normally, this disease appears when a patient is 40 years old or more. The most common and rather obvious reason for getting COPD is smoking. Unfortunately, even if you do not smoke, secondhand smoke can bring you COPD eventually.
However, besides the smoking factor, there are other causes of COPD:
Air and environmental conditions
The environmental situation and air pollution level in your region matter a lot when we talk about COPD.
Hazardous fumes and chemicals at work
If you work in a factory, in a lab, or in a similar place, and your work process involves interaction with various fumes that get into your lungs, the risk of getting COPD increases.
Like with many other diseases, some people are more predisposed to COPD than others.
How to treat COPD?
If you suspect that you might have COPD, at first, do not panic. It would be best if you attend a doctor right away.
While you cannot get rid of COPD fully, there are methods that will ease the symptoms and slow the disease down. So, if you have COPD, the earlier you discover it, the better.
There are four treatment methods for COPD that help patients and have proven their efficiency:
Changing of Habits
Firstly, a patient must quit smoking. Secondly, they should reduce contact with smokers and also hazardous chemicals and fuels.
During such therapy, a patient gets oxygen from a mask or other devices to improve their breathing.
There are various pills that help patients with COPD lessen their symptoms and ease their breathing.
In the most severe cases, when nothing from the above-mentioned things works, a patient can go through lung surgery.