What is COPD
Understanding And Coping With COPD
In a perfect world, everyone to be healthy and no one would have to worry about coming down with debilitating chronic illnesses. Unfortunately, we do not live in such a world and therefore many people at some point in their lives will be forced to deal with the effects of chronic disease.
One such disease that in recent times have been has been affecting an alarming number of people is known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. As widespread as this disease is, there will be many people who know little about it and therefore are at a greater risk of contracting it.
This article will take a closer look at this condition, and will seek to educate our readers more deeply about the subject. In doing so, it will answer some questions that are relevant to the subject. These questions include: just what is COPD? What are some of the symptoms of COPD, and how is it diagnosed? And, what are some of the modern treatment options for this potentially debilitating illness? Let’s answer these questions.
What is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, or COPD, is actually a group of conditions that make it very hard to empty the air from the lungs. This situation makes it very difficult to take breaths and can leave the sufferer with feelings of tiredness and fatigue. COPD can describe a person with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or any combination of the two. It is somewhat different from asthma, but it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two.
What are some of the symptoms of COPD and how is it diagnosed?
Individuals that notice a chronic cough, shortness of breath, or increased sputum production may suspect that they have COPD. If these symptoms are accompanied by a history of smoking this in many cases indicates the need for a test known as spirometry, and this measures if a given person has an airway obstruction. Based on patient reports and test results, physicians can then decide whether an individual indeed is suffering from COPD.
What are some treatment options for COPD?
There are currently no available cures to restore the health of damaged alveoli that are affected by emphysema. That being said, the first and most important treatment if an individual is a heavy smoker is to cease smoking. In addition to assisting patients in smoking cessation, physicians may also prescribe certain medications that act to open up the breathing tubes, reduce inflammation, and treat infection as well. In order to provide effective control of the symptoms, in many cases these medications need to be taken every day for the rest of a victim’s life.
COPD is likely to continue to affect many people worldwide for the foreseeable future. That being said, those who make the smart choice to stop smoking now may very well be able to avoid developing this serious and chronic illness.