COPD Symptoms and Prevention
What is COPD?
COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is majorly an umbrella term for a progressive group of lung diseases. This occurs when the air gets trapped inside the lungs, and the patient faces trouble breathing out.
There are primarily two types of COPD, Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis, occurring in four stages varying from mild to severe.
Emphysema COPD gradually affects the lungs by destroying the air sacs and interfering with the outward airflow.
While COPD variants like Bronchitis and Asthama causes inflammation and narrowing of bronchus tubes, leading to mucus build-up in the respiratory tract making it troublesome for the patient to breathe in and out.
As per the recent survey by WHO, about 3.23 million deaths occurred around the world due to COPD, out of which 80% of cases worsened due to lack of awareness and failure of early detection.
Diagnosing symptoms early and providing the right treatment at the right time is the key to saving lives.
Symptoms of COPD
Doctors around the world uses stages to describe how manageable or severe COPD diseases are. The system is referred to as GOLD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) grading system. This structure divides the symptoms as mild and severe, described as follows:
Mild Symptoms of COPD
These usually occur at the initial stage of lung disease and involves:
- Occasional shortage of breath
- Urge to clear your throat several times a day
Severe Symptoms of COPD
The severe symptoms occur at the worsening stage of the disease, identified as:
- Shortness of breath after walking or climbing 2 flights of stairs.
- Heavy wheezing during exhalation
- Chronic cough
- Extreme Fatigue
- Regular cold/flu
The symptoms are likely to become worse at a rapid pace if the patient is addicted to smoking.
Common Causes of COPD
Blame it on the lifestyle or the deteriorating climate conditions that make humans vulnerable to multiple lung diseases every day. There are numerous causes of COPD, below stated are the most common ones:
- Age Factor: People over 40 years of age are at risk of COPD.
- Smoke & Tobacco: The more addicted to Smoking and Tobacco, the more vulnerable they become to contracting COPD.
- Passive Smoking: If you are exposed to secondhand smoking, do not be shocked if you develop a COPD condition.
- Genetics: If you have a family history with COPD, you will develop the same condition.
- Pollution & Chemical Fumes: This is a no-brainer. If you are exposed to chemical fumes at your workplace or residence, your lungs are most likely to get affected by it.
How is COPD treated?
COPD treatment is a mix of medicinal treatment, surgery (only in severe cases), and prevention. COPD treatment generally helps in mitigating the pace of disease by working on the symptoms.
Your treatment may include:
- Quit Smoking: Tobacco intake is a sure shot way to worsen any disease, and smoking affects your respiratory system the most.
- Oxygen Therapy: If the patient witnesses discoloration or blue fingertips, there’s a lack of oxygen in the body, and oxygen therapy becomes a must.
- Surgery: This is an option available for the most advanced stage of COPD and entails certain risks.
- Vaccination: The vulnerable people must stay up to date with influenza and pneumococcal vaccines.
COPD is a critical condition that demands professional medical attention and constant consultation. The disease is rapidly increasing in the Indian Population, where 80% of the cases worsen due to a lack of awareness and right treatment.
Make sure this doesn’t happen to you and your loved ones.
Book your appointment today at Smart Hospital