COPD or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is one of the leading cause of mortality across the globe. Every year, a number of people who visit me, are unaware of COPD causes, symptoms and preventive measure. Due to the lack of awareness, they are overlooking the disease which is further leading to serious long-term disability & early death. As per my research, year by year an alarming increase in seen in count of individuals becoming mortal due to COPD. However, with proper treatment, at right time, with few preventive measures, one can slow-down the progression of disease and its symptoms.
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is an advanced lung diseases—most common are emphysema & chronic bronchitis. I find many COPD patients with both of the conditions. Bronchitis causes swelling & narrowing of bronchial tubes that build up mucus, whereas emphysema damages air sacs gradually in the lungs, which interruptions outward air flow.
People with COPD finds it difficult to breathe. Symptoms could be mild at earlier stage, starting with shortness of breath and coughing. As it develops, it becomes difficult to breathe. Further, an individual may experience wheezing & tightness in the chest. Thus, don’t delay, visit me right away!
What are the symptoms of COPD?
Below are the some of the other symptoms of COPD
• Mild but frequent cough
• Infrequent shortness of breath, particularly after exercise
• Needing to clear throat frequently, particularly in the morning
An individual might onset making subtle changes, like avoiding stairs, skipping and other physical activities. If ignored symptoms may get worse & harder. Further, if lungs gets more damaged, individual may experience:
• Shortness of breath, after a mild exercise like walking up a flight of stairs
• Chronic cough, with or without mucus
• Wheezing, or noisy breathing
• Chest tightness
• Frequent colds, flu, or other respiratory infections
• Need to clear mucus from lungs every day
• Lack of energy
Further, in later stages of COPD, symptoms include:
• Swelling of feet, ankles, or legs
• Weight loss
I Dr. Nirupama, recommend Immediate medical care if:
• A patient experience bluish or gray fingernails or lips, that indicates low oxygen levels in the blood
• A patient have problem in catching breath or cannot talk
• A patient feel confused, faint or muddled
• A patient heart is racing
The above symptoms may become worse if an individual currently smokes or exposed to smoke.
What causes COPD?
The major cause of COPD is smoking. Around 90 percent of people who have diagnosed with COPD are smokers or former smokers. The more you smoke, the greater would be the risk of COPD. Furthermore cigarette smoke, pipe smoke, cigar smoke, & secondhand smoke can cause COPD.
The risk of COPD is much greater if you have asthma as well as exposed to smoke.
Moreover, COPD is also developed if an individual is exposed to chemicals & fumes in the workplace. Long-term exposure to air pollution & inhaling dust cause COPD.
Treatment for COPD
Providing right treatment at right time eases symptoms, prevent its risks or complications, and slow disease progression.
Lifestyle changes or preventive measures
Below are few lifestyle changes I suggest in order to reduce the symptoms and provide relief.
• Quit smoking
• Try avoiding secondhand smoke & chemical fumes.
• Get required nutrition’s, by working either with doctor or dietician to prepare a healthy eating plan.
• Do regular and enough exercise.
Being aware of above facts as it helps you in identifying the disease & its preventive measures. For further details, get in touch with me.