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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) – what you need to know

Breathing problems can affect your quality of life. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a long-term condition that makes it hard for you to breathe normally. Of course, everyone wants to live a healthy life but breathing problems do not make it possible.

What are the types of COPD?

It contains one or more conditions, such as:

Emphysema

A general physician in Lahore says that this is a condition that occurs due to damage to your lungs’ air sacs. It leads to damage to the inside walls and results in merging into one giant air sac. This condition does not allow the absorption of oxygen which results in less oxygen in your blood. You experience the damaged alveoli which make your lungs stretch. It leads to trapped air in your lungs which makes it difficult to breathe. People who feel shortness of breath may have developed this type of COPD.

Chronic Bronchitis

People who are living with shortness of breath along with other symptoms, like coughing and mucus might be at risk of chronic bronchitis. You can have this condition only if you have been living with signs for up to 2 to 3 years. Cilia plays an important role as it helps to line your bronchial tubes and move mucus. But having this condition means that you have lost the cilia. As a result, you cannot get rid of the mucus and experience more coughing.

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What are the causes of COPD and Risk Factors?

People who live around the things that irritate their lungs are at risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Smoking is also a cause of COPD. It is not necessary that you smoke but people with secondhand smoking are also at risk of getting breathing problems.

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If you have asthma, then the chances of COPD increase with smoking. Toxic elements in the air can also damage your lungs’ air sacs. You should not live in a place where the air quality is low.

Here is the list of symptoms that help to diagnose if you have COPD.

At the early stage of COPD, you may not experience any kind of signs but it may appear after some time.

  • A chronic cough that does not go away
  • When you have mucus during cough
  • Frequent cold and flu
  • Feeling low
  • Swollen ankles, legs, and feet
  • Chest tightness
  • Breathing shortness while doing any physical activity
  • Blue fingernails
  • Weight loss

How to diagnose COPD?

When you visit your doctor, you will be asked about the symptoms and your medical history. The general physician will also ask you if you smoke or have been exposed to any polluted air or toxic elements.

Physical exams and Spirometry are the most common ways to diagnose COPD. You need to take a deep breath in the large and flexible tube. It helps to find out how much air your lungs can hold.

Some other tests are also suggested if you have other issues, like lung problems.

These tests include:

  • Chest X rays, to find out lung issues.
  • Arterial blood gas test that helps to measure how much carbon dioxide takes out by your lungs and brings in oxygen.
  • Laboratory test
  • Lung Function Tests.

What are the treatments?

Well, there is no cure yet. But different techniques are used to ease the symptoms of COPD and slow down the progress of the disease. People who smoke should get rid of this habit as it can bring many other health complications and also can affect the quality of life.

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Medical treatments for COPD:

Antibiotics: It helps to fight off bacterial infection.

Flu: Vaccines lower the risk of illnesses.

Oxygen therapy: People who have breathing shortness problems get help with oxygen therapy as it protects their organs.

Bronchodilators:  to open your airways, these medicines really work.

Roflumilast: it helps to stop the enzyme (PDE4).

And Many More!

Final Thought

COPD can also cause other health complications, such as lung cancer, depression, etc. You should get medical help when you notice some of its signs to slow down the progress of the disease.

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