COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease


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by Mary Sofia

COPD is an 'umbrella term' used to describe a group of progressive lung diseases. Two of the most common diseases in this category are emphysema and chronic bronchitis but there are several others, ranging from conditions of minor to major intensity. An early diagnosis is of the utmost importance as medical science has made great progress in treating this ailment, even going as far as carrying out lung transplants, though such an operation would currently be considered, primarily, for younger sufferers.

Although Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is considered is considered a chronic, debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, it can be managed, controlled, and it's progress slowed down. With proper treatment and care, patients can look forward to a long and comfortable life.

An insidious disease, it is often first diagnosed after some of the lung capacity is already compromised. Almost always preventable, and almost always treatable, chronic obstructural pulmonary disease is usually not fully reversible.

It is, therefore, imperative to undergo specific tests for those who know that they are, or have been, at risk through exposure to noxious fumes, particles, or tobacco smoke (e.g. passive smokers).

For example :

  • life-long smokers
  • presence of a chronic cough and sputum production
  • shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • wheezing
  • chest tightness
  • tiredness

Controlling the Disease

Quit Smoking

You can learn to control Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, instead of letting it control you.

As the years pass, our bodies have assimilated many noxious fumes or particles present on the planet. However, the primary culprit is tobacco smoke and it goes without saying that cessation of smoking is the first step towards 'being in control.'

Another very good reason for giving up smoking is the knowledge that we are not subjecting others to the risk of pulmonary disease by forcing them to be 'passive' smokers.

Early Detection

Early testing and detection of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, plus treatment by a competent specialist in pulmonary diseases will help you to deal with the disease and to take the necessary steps to ensure an active and enjoyable future. Adherence to a prescribed medical regimen, the adoption of healthy eating habits, a medically approved personal exercise program will undoubtedly improve the quality of life in a patient. Attention to weight is an important element as being over-weight can only add to the strain of respiration and movement.

Taking Precautions

The simple precaution of wearing a protective mask when undertaking some household tasks, or carrying out certain hobbies, will contribute to prevention of these diseases. It has been discovered that women are particularly susceptible to contracting Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease when they are over-exposed to bio-mass fuels (such as animal dung or wood used to fuel stoves or fires).

Air Pollution

Another common source of exposure is in air pollution. Many countries now diligently report the levels of air pollution in some of their major cities and take measures to lower the levels. When the levels are over the limit, those who are at most risk are advised to stay indoors. Living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is frustrating but is not necessarily invalidating.


    World COPD DAY

    World COPD Day was celebrated i 14th November, 2012. The day is the focus of a global effort to expand understanding of the disease and advocate for better care for patients.

    This is a worldwide even coordinated by the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). The World Health Organization has predicted that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease that will become the leading cause of death worldwide by 2030. Already, in 2004, 64 million people had the illness. The World Day is an occasion when health care professionals and patient groups throughout the world take part in different events aimed at raising awareness about the disease.



Advanced Stages

For those patients already in the advanced stages of the disease there are broncho-dilators in nebular or inhaler form which will provide an instant burst of breath when needed. Supplemental oxygen is another option as well as pulmonary rehabilitation exercises designed to improve shortness of breath and exercise capacity.

Emotions affect respiration, and respiration affects emotions. When we control one, it's easier to control the other. Don't be afraid of using those aids which science has now given us.


(Sources: Med TV, Wikipedia)


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