Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - Some Details To Know

COPD is the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a lung disease that creates breathing issue in patients. Generally, the first symptoms of this disease will be so mild, such that people feel that it is a normal sign of getting older. Patients with this condition may develop chronic emphysema, bronchitis or both as well. This condition can get worse over time. However, when it is diagnosed early and good medical care is provided, the patients can stay active and can slow down the disease.

Symptoms of COPD:

Inside the lungs, this disease can clog the airways and can cause damage to the balloon-like sacs that are responsible for absorption of oxygen. This will lead the patients to experience the following symptoms:

• Tightness in chest

• Wheezing

• Shortness of breath when participating in day-to-day activities

Symptoms of COPD at advanced stage:

When the disease gets severe, it might create difficulty in taking some step ahead, cooking, dusting house and even bathing. Excessive cough will be experienced resulting in excess mucus production and feeling short of breath may get worse. When the condition becomes severe, the following symptoms will be experienced:

• Lesser muscle strength and endurance

• Weight loss

• Fluid buildup in the body can make legs or feet to inflate

COPD: Chronic Bronchitis:

This is the main problem experienced by people with this disease. It will show up in the form of nagging cough with a lot of mucus. At this stage, there will be scarring and constant letting out of mucus mainly because of the inflammation in walls inside the lungs. The mucus may get trapped, thereby blocking the flow of air and turning out to be the breeding ground for germs. Generally, the cough will become worse during cold and damp weather and the cough experienced by smokers is generally a sign of chronic bronchitis.

COPD: Emphysema:

This condition is the effect of damages to emphysema, which are tiny air sacs in the lungs. These sacs swell when blood moves into the oxygen when humans breathe in. They are also responsible for pushing out carbon dioxide, when humans breathe out. On the other hand, in patients with emphysema, these air sacs cannot properly expand and contract. This damage in turn will destroy the air sacs, thereby leaving bigger holes in the lungs, which will get hold of decay air. People with this condition will have difficulty in letting out air.

Diagnosis of COPD:

Initially, your health care provider will listen to your chest asking you to breathe well. Then, the doctor will collect details about your smoking history and your family history of COPD. The doctor might be prescribing a blood examination for measuring the amount of oxygen in the blood. For this purpose, a pulse oximeter can also be used, which is a device that clips to your finger painlessly. The other methods of diagnosis include:

• Spirometry breathe test

• Chest X-ray

Treatment:

For treatment, the doctor might prescribe bronchodilators, corticosteroids and you might be provided lung training. Oxygen therapy and some antibiotics might be suggested and in severe cases, surgical procedures are followed.

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