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COPD (Chronic Constructive Pulmonary Disease)

International Global Health


COPD (Chronic Constructive Pulmonary Disease)

 

COPD is not just simply a smoker`s cough but an under-diagnosed, life threatening lung disease that may progressively lead to death.

 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. If you are suffering from chronic bronchitis and emphysema then you must know these diseases are included in COPD as well.

 

COPD is a progressive and (currently) incurable disease, but with the right diagnosis and treatment, there are many things you can do to manage your COPD and breathe better. People can live for many years with COPD and enjoy life.

 

Symptoms

Caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases, most often from cigarette smoke. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions.

 

The most common symptoms of COPD are:

  • Breathlessness
  • Excessive sputum production
  • Chronic cough
  • Mucus (Sputum) production
  • Persistent wheezing

 

According to World Health Organization (WHO), the main risks for COPD are as follows:

  • Tobacco smoking
  • Indoor air pollution (such as biomass fuel used for cooking and heating)
  • Outdoor air pollution
  • Occupational dusts and chemicals (vapors, irritants, and fumes)

 

Diagnosis

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) includes both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Most individuals with COPD have a little bit of both, but have a predominance of one or the other. Your physician will examine about your family history with respiratory illnesses, your symptoms and the medication you use and examine your lifestyle.

 

Treatment

Treatment options may include medications, rehabilitation or surgery that may improve your quality of life.

There are three treatments that need to be considered:

  1. Pulmonary rehabilitation -- The purpose is to rebuild strength and enjoy a fuller and more active life. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs typically combine education, exercise training, nutrition advice and counseling.
  1. Oxygen therapy -- With COPD, you require extra or supplemental oxygen
  1. Complementary therapies to improve your quality of life

Such as massage, yoga and also acupuncture. These techniquesmay not treat your COPD, but may be able to improve symptoms and quality of life

 

There are many different medicines available to manage your COPD as well. Discuss with your doctor and healthcare team to personalize the plan that is best for you.

 

References:

World Health Organization (WHO)

COPD Foundation

American Lung Association

NHS

COPD

Mayo Clinic

 



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