Everything to Know about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is the third leading cause of death from chronic illness in the United States. According to the CDC, it was responsible for 41,220 deaths in 2013, with males accounting for 70% of these fatalities. The good news? COPD can be managed and even reversed with early detection and treatment.
COPD gets its name because it has two main effects on your breathing: It obstructs your airways and it compromises your pulmonary function. Both of these are important when we talk about breathing, which is why they’re used to describe this disease. If you understand what these terms mean, you can take action to prevent COPD or catch it early if you are at risk. In this post, we'll go over everything you need to know about COPD so that you know what steps to take if you think you might be at risk.
What is COPD?
COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is a long-term lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is also known as chronic bronchitis or emphysema. COPD mainly affects your lungs, but it also harms your health in many other ways. In fact, it is the third leading cause of death from chronic illness in the United States.
COPD is a slow and progressive disease that builds up over time and often doesn’t have any noticeable symptoms until it’s too late. It is usually caused by long-term exposure to airborne toxins, such as carbon monoxide and tobacco smoke. Many people with COPD are diagnosed after they’ve already been experiencing symptoms for several years.
Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease
Chronic obstruction pulmonary disease is an inflammation of the airways that cause difficulty breathing. It is most commonly caused by smoking, but can also be an effect of other toxins in the environment such as pesticides or dust. COPD is a progressive disease that often has no symptoms until it is too late. This means that the disease will continue to progress, even if it is left untreated.
It is more common in people over the age of 40, but can affect younger people as well. There are two main types of COPD. They are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The difference between these two types is the way they are caused.
Chronic Exposure Pulmonary Disease (CPD)
Chronic exposure pulmonary disease is similar to COPD, but its symptoms develop more quickly. It is caused by long-term exposure to toxic fumes like those from cleaning chemicals, paint fumes and smoke. CPD is sometimes referred to as “sudden COPD” or “chemical lung.” CPD is often misdiagnosed because it has symptoms very similar to those of COPD.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between the two. CPD is less common than COPD, and mainly affects workers in certain industries. It can also happen to people who are exposed to toxic fumes in their home, such as those from cleaning products.
Acute Onset of COPD (AOCP)
Acute onset of COPD is sudden, short-term symptoms that indicate your COPD has gotten worse. It is often caused by an infection in the lungs, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. AOCP is common in people with COPD, so it is important for you to get treatment for any infections you have early.
AOCP typically goes away in a few days or weeks, but it can also lead to a COPD flare-up. A flare-up happens when your COPD symptoms get worse. This can happen when you have an infection or when your COPD gets worse and it causes your symptoms to get worse.
How is COPD Diagnosed?
When you visit your doctor, he or she will ask you a series of questions about your health and lifestyle. You may be invited to take a breathing test or have your blood pressure checked. You may also get a chest X-ray or CT scan to look for lung damage.
Your doctor can also test your sputum to see if it contains anything harmful like bacteria or blood. If your symptoms and test results suggest that you might have COPD, your doctor may refer you to a specialist for more testing.
COPD Treatments and Medication
A doctor will most likely prescribe you an inhaler, breathing exercises, or surgery if you have COPD. An inhaler is medication you spray into your mouth. Breathing exercises are done to strengthen your muscles. Surgery is done to widen your airways so you can breathe more easily. COPD medications keep you from getting worse. They can help to open your airways and reduce your risk of infection.
COPD medications include long-term control medications and quick-relief medications. Long-term control medications are taken every day to keep your symptoms from getting worse. Quick-relief medications are taken when you have an infection or other short-term symptoms.
Conclusion: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Symptoms
COPD is a serious and sometimes fatal lung disease that can be caused by a variety of factors. While smokers are more likely to develop COPD, non-smokers can also get the disease. Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. If you or a loved one are showing symptoms of COPD, it’s crucial to see a doctor right away.
Early diagnosis and treatment are key to managing this disease and preventing it from getting worse. With the right information and support, you can reduce your risk of getting COPD and learn how to manage it if you’ve already been diagnosed.