Understanding COPD And How To Manage This Condition Competently
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a collection of lung conditions wherein a person has difficulties emptying air out of the lungs. This particular problem may lead a person to suffer from breath shortness or the inability to relax, hence, feel tired all the time. COPD is the term coined for people who are suffering from several lung conditions or the combinations of these illnesses. However, do not be mistaken by asthma, as this is another condition of COPD. Nevertheless, the signs and the symptoms of both COPD and asthma may be interrelated with one another.
COPD is classified into two major groups; emphysema and chronic bronchitis. A person might suffer from either one of these, or he could have the same condition. One person may have the symptoms of chronic bronchitis more than emphysema, and the other way around. Today, it is important to know the difference of these conditions to know the root cause of the problem. This also helps people to know the proper health management about these two conditions.
The Brief Introduction To Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis is a condition of the lungs wherein the bronchioles are in a constant swelling pattern. It results in the increased production of mucus. If a person suffers from consistent mucus and cough for three straight months throughout the period of two years, the doctor will diagnose it as chronic bronchitis. Also, this condition could let a person suffer from the obstruction of the airways. The production of excess mucus makes it tougher for a person to breathe. Therefore, the normal amount of air will not reach the lungs. In order to measure the amount of the air entering the lungs, the test known as spirometry is conducted.
What Exactly Is Emphysema And How It Affects A Person?
Another disease that is considered as COPD is emphysema. This is an illness that involved the air sacs of the lungs, also known as the alveoli. A normal person has more than 300 million alveoli. Think of the alveoli as little balloons found in the lungs. Just like a balloon, the alveoli needs an effort to be blown up. A person suffering from this illness has impaired alveoli, as the wall around it is damaged.
As the air filled in the lungs is difficult to be eliminated, hyperinflation will take place. Hyperinflation is essentially the air being trapped in the lungs. The breathing tubes of a person with emphysema tend to collapse upon exhaling, which prevents a person from having the normal amount of air being eliminated from the lungs. Like chronic bronchitis, emphysema can be tested using spirometry.
The Major Causes Of COPD And The Importance Of Knowing Them
There are many factors that may cause COPD. Nonetheless, the most common onset of COPD among the people suffering from it is smoking. Cigarettes contain irritants such as air pollutants. This makes way for the bronchi to produce an extra amount of mucus than the normal levels. That being said, it will lead for the bronchial wall to swell and become inflamed. As a result, a person will experience coughing with phlegm. Also, COPD will likely affect a person even if that person inhaled small amount of irritants, but for a longer period.
Furthermore, there are other factors such as the environment that make way for COPD to take place. Even genetics can cause this particular condition. An example of this is the too much exposure of dust and allergens at works, or chemical inhalation both indoors and outdoors. It is not yet clear why some smokers do not develop a full COPD. According to studies, genetics has a major part in the development of COPD among family members.
What Are The Available Treatments For COPD?
If you are suffering from COPD, you must understand that it is not the end of the road for you. There are health interventions that can manage and control the symptoms of COPD, and to lessen the complications that this condition might pose. Ultimately, these interventions will provide improvement to the quality of life of the people suffering from it.
Among the best examples of getting rid of the symptoms of COPD is the cessation of smoking. We all know that COPD takes place as a result of too much smoking that has developed for some time. Nevertheless, it is too tough to quit smoking. This may be a daunting task, especially for people who are a chain smoker. There are many cases of people trying to quit smoking, but they eventually failed. The best thing that you must do is to talk to your physician on how to manage smoking cessation on a gradual basis.
There are products that can also replace nicotine, which is the major substance in a cigarette that will make way for COPD. Also, there are medications that can alleviate the symptoms of COPD. Examples of these medicines are bronchodilators, combination inhalers, oral steroids, antibiotics and theophyllines. These medications may be effective for a person, but not so effective for others. If you want to get the best drugs for COPD, consult a physician.
Can You Completely Get Rid Of COPD From Your System?
The sad news about COPD is that once you have this condition, it will be in your system for life. However, you can manage the symptoms that may exacerbate the condition. The symptoms of COPD will dramatically be reduced once you get rid of smoking, and live a healthy lifestyle. Also, it depends on how extensive is the damage to your lungs regarding the improvements of these symptoms.