Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that leads to a blockage of airflow from the lungs. It commonly arises from two conditions: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. When diagnosed with COPD, it implies that the patient exhibits symptoms or has both of these damaging lung conditions. As COPD progresses, breathing can become increasingly challenging.
The air sacs are essential for transporting carbon dioxide out and oxygen into the circulation. Emphysema damage obliterates the air sac walls, making it challenging to take a full breath.
Heart disease, lung cancer, and a number of other diseases are more likely to occur in people with COPD.
COPD, while being a chronic and progressive disease, is manageable with appropriate treatment. Patients with COPD can achieve effective symptom control, experience an improved quality of life, and reduce the risk of developing other associated medical conditions through proper care.
The symptoms of COPD often go unnoticed until significant damage to the lungs has occurred, and they tend to worsen gradually, particularly in cases of ongoing exposure to smoking.
COPD signs and symptoms may include:
Individuals with COPD are prone to experiencing exacerbations, which are episodes characterized by a worsening of their symptoms that can persist for several days or longer.
When patients with COPD identify early signs and symptoms of exacerbation, it is recommended that they promptly inform their healthcare provider. This allows for potential modifications in treatment or the prescription of different medications to address the symptoms effectively. It is important to note that altering or discontinuing the medication regimen should never be done without prior consultation with a healthcare provider.
In the event that symptoms fail to improve or worsen despite treatment, or if signs of infection such as fever or changes in sputum are observed, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention.
If an individual experiences difficulty breathing, pronounced cyanosis (bluish lips or nail beds), rapid heartbeat, dizziness, or difficulty maintaining focus, it is imperative to seek emergency medical attention without delay.
The primary cause of COPD is smoking. People who are exposed to fumes from burning fuel for cooking and heating in inadequately ventilated homes frequently acquire COPD.
Although many smokers with extended smoking histories may experience decreased lung function, only a small percentage of chronic smokers acquire clinically apparent COPD. Smokers can acquire other less typical lung diseases. They may be incorrectly diagnosed with COPD up until a more complete examination is done.
To force air out of the body, the lungs rely on the natural flexibility of the bronchial tubes and air sacs. When patients exhale, some air is retained in the lungs due to the COPD-induced loss of their flexibility and overexpansion.
COPD cause may also include:
Other irritants that can lead to COPD include air pollution, exposure to dust, smoke, or fumes at work, and cigar, pipe, and secondhand smoke.
The following factors increase the risk of COPD:
+66 2066 8888