What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is an advanced lung disease which is characterized by breathlessness and used as an umbrella term under which many other problems are included
Refractory (non-reversible) asthma
Some forms of bronchiectasis
Two major forms of COPD
This disease causes the impairment and damage to the air sacs in the lungs. Air sacs gets constricted and doesn’t allow to contract and expand. Thus it becomes difficult to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
Breathing becomes difficult due to blockage which can be caused in the airways due to swelling and thickness. It causes constriction in the air passage. It increases the amount of mucus in the lungs which causes blockage of air.
How to identify COPD?
It is a common disease but unfortunately not commonly diagnosed one. Report says that COPD caused 5% deaths in 2004 but predictions have made that it will be the world’s third biggest cause of mortality till 2030 (World Health Organizations WHO, Global Burden of Disease Report).
In older age, coughing and shortness of breath is usually reported which shouldn’t be messed up with this disease. It has following symptoms:
Sometimes, it is hard to diagnose COPD as its symptoms becomes noticeable at more later and developed stage. It must be kept on mind that this disease is incurable and its treatment is not successful but the good thing is that it is manageable. Right and proper diagnoses and treatment can lead to a healthy life.
Few symptoms are as follows but can vary from person to person
Breath is shortened
Repeated and recurrent coughing. Coughing can be with and without mucus or phlegm)
Feeling of exhaustion and tiredness
Rigidity and toughness in the chest
First aid tips and management
Don’t panic. Stay calm, relaxed but mentally vigilant
Provide maximum air by letting him breath in an open area
Provide CPR to regain proper breath
Call emergency and immediately run to the hospital
Management of symptoms can improve condition
Stay active and encourage him to stay active
Some smokers also suffers from this. Cessation of smoking is an important part of treatment.