Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung condition. It is a type of non-communicable disease. According to the World Health Organization, COPD caused 3.23 million deaths worldwide in 2019, making it the third leading cause of death. It is a condition belonging to the progressive group of lung diseases.
Did You Know?
Patients having Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease are at a high risk of developing lung cancer, heart conditions, pulmonary hypertension, and other respiratory infections.
To learn more about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, please keep reading
What Is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD, is a progressive, chronic inflammatory lung condition that obstructs airflow from the lungs.
There are two forms of COPD. They are:
- Chronic bronchitis: It is a condition that causes bronchial tube inflammation and narrowing, which leads to mucus build-up.
- Emphysema: It is a condition that destroys the walls of the alveoli (tiny air sacs) present at the bronchial tube end. This causes interference with the outward airflow, making it difficult to breathe.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Symptoms
Initially, the COPD symptoms don’t prominently appear. But, as the condition progresses and the lung damage becomes significant, the symptoms start to appear. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath, even while doing simple activities like walking or climbing stairs
- Persistent cough
- Cough that produces mucus
- Trouble taking deep breaths
- Chest tightness
- Frequent infections like flu or cold
- Low energy level
- Swollen feet, ankles, or legs
- Loss of weight
What Are The Causes Of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
The primary cause that leads to the development of COPD is smoking.
- Smoking: In the majority of instances, long-term smoking is the cause that leads to COPD. Smoking cigars, pipes, or marijuana puts a person at risk of developing COPD.
Where smoking remains the primary COPD cause, certain risk factors might increase the risk of developing COPD.
Risk Factors Of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
- Secondhand smoke exposure: Inhaling a large amount of secondhand smoke is a potential risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Occupational exposure: Another potential risk factor of COPD is exposure to fumes, chemicals, vapors, and dust.
- Indoor exposure to polluted air: Fumes from burning fuels used for cooking or heating in homes that are not sufficiently ventilated put a person at risk of developing COPD.
- Genetic disorder: Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency is a genetic disorder that can lead to COPD.
- Asthma: Patients having asthma are also at risk of developing COPD.
Prevention Of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
The various preventive measures that can help in preventing the development of COPD are:
- Stop smoking: Usually, preventing the cause is the key to preventing the development of a certain condition. In the case of COPD, smoking is the major key. Omitting the habit of smoking or never getting into one can help minimize the risk of developing COPD. Apart from this, people finding it difficult to quit smoking can seek professional assistance from doctors or therapists or undergo rehabilitation.
- Get yourself vaccinated: Getting vaccinated annually for flu, a pneumococcal vaccine, or a tetanus booster can help prevent respiratory infections.
- Avoid exposure to chemicals: Fumes from burning fuels, fumes, chemicals vapors, and dust can help reduce the risk of COPD.
Lung Health Matters
The damage caused by COPD cannot be reversed. However, there are various options of COPD treatments available today. These treatments can help in easing the COPD symptoms. Hence, it is essential to look out for the symptoms and get an early diagnosis instead of ignoring them, as early diagnosis aids in early treatment. Your lung health lies in your hand, and smoking can cause chronic lung damage and even become fatal. Hence, it is essential to quit smoking or seek help from a professional if it is difficult to quit.it is also vital to maintain a healthy lifestyle for promoting good respiratory health.