COPD (CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE LUNG DISEASE) What is COPD?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a disease that makes it difficult to breathe with the narrowing of the airways in the lungs.
When Does COPD Occur?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occurs when the lungs and airways become damaged and inflamed. It is often associated with long-term exposure to harmful substances such as cigarette smoke.
What are the COPD Risk Factors?
Smoking Smoking is the main cause of COPD and is thought to be responsible for about 9 out of 10 cases. Harmful chemicals in smoke can damage the lining of the lungs and airways. Quitting smoking can help prevent COPD from getting worse. Some research also suggests that exposure to the secondhand smoke of others (passive smoking) may increase your risk of COPD. Smoke and dust in the workplace Exposure to certain types of dust and chemicals in the workplace can damage the lungs and increase your risk of COPD. Substances associated with COPD include: Cadmium dust and fumes Grain and flour dust Silica dust Welding fumes Isocyanates Coal dust The risk of COPD is further increased when you breathe in dust or smoke at work and smoke.
Air pollution Prolonged exposure to air pollution can affect how well your lungs work, and some research suggests this may increase your risk of COPD. However, the link between air pollution and COPD is currently unclear and research continues. Genetics If you smoke and have a close relative with the condition, you're more likely to develop COPD, suggesting that some people's genes may make them more vulnerable to the condition. About 1 in 100 people with COPD have a genetic predisposition to develop the condition called alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. Alpha-1-antitrypsin is a substance that protects the lungs. Without it, the lungs are more vulnerable to damage. People with alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency often develop COPD at a younger age, especially if they smoke.
What Are the Symptoms of COPD?
The most common symptoms are phlegm and cough. In mild stages, intermittent coughing is observed. In the later stages, cough can be observed throughout the day. Sputum increase can be a symptom of COPD or it can be related to bronchitis. In the early stages, patients often go unnoticed as shortness of breath occurs only during high-intensity physical activity. In the middle stage, cough and sputum are prominent. In the last stage, more severe symptoms are seen compared to other stages. It can be seen as bruising on the lips, tongue and fingertips, palpitation, weakening, constipation, sexual reluctance, abdominal swelling, severe headache, sweating, insomnia, Forgetfulness, Irritability, Tremor and numbness in the hands, Prominence in the neck veins, Edema in the legs.
What are the Treatment Methods in COPD?
COPD is a disease for which early diagnosis is very important. The most important part of treatment for smokers is to quit smoking. Avoiding tobacco smoke and other air pollutants at home and at work is also recommended. Medication: Symptoms such as coughing or wheezing can be treated with medication. Pulmonary rehabilitation: a personalized treatment program that teaches you how to manage your COPD symptoms to improve your quality of life. Plans may include learning to breathe better, how to conserve your energy, and what types of food and exercise are right for you.
Preventing and treating lung infections: Lung infections can cause serious problems in people with COPD. Some vaccines, such as flu and pneumonia vaccines, are especially important for people with COPD. Learn more about vaccine recommendations. Respiratory infections should be treated with antibiotics if appropriate. Supplemental oxygen: A portable oxygen tank may be needed if blood oxygen levels are low.