COPD, also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a disease of the lungs. It is treatable and can be prevented as well. Although it mainly affects the lungs it can have a bad impact on other parts of the body. This disease is characterized by a reduced intake of airflow both into the lungs and out of the lungs. This happens due to many reasons which include the air tubes lose their elasticity and cannot stretch like they should when you breathe in and out and the walls of the alveoli may become destroyed. The two main types of COPD include Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis.
Symptoms of COPD
The symptoms of COPD are many and include excessive coughing, spitting up mucus, wheezing, breathlessness, fatigue, frequent chest infections and chest tightness. Swelling, weight gain and being obese are more symptoms of COPD. If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor right away to get the treatment you need.
Risk Factors of COPD
There are a few different risk factors that can cause COPD to worsen. If you smoke you definitely need to quit because this is a serious risk factor. You also need to stay away from secondhand smoke to relieve the symptoms you already have. Secondhand smoke can make it worse. Air pollution and certain allergens can also be cause for a risk factor with COPD. These allergens include dust, grain dust, cotton and silica.
Treatment for COPD
The number one treatment for this disease is if you smoke, to quit right away. This can reduce the symptoms greatly. Other treatments include medications, oxygen therapy, flu shots, rehabilitation of the pulmonary system, the pneumonia vaccine, learning how to clear the airway and alternative therapy. These different treatments can help relieve the problems associated with COPD.
Prevention of COPD
COPD is treatable; however there is no cure for it. Once you get this disease, you cannot reverse it. This is why it is best to prevent it in the first place. The best way to prevent COPD is to not smoke at all. Smoking cigarettes is the number one cause of this lung disease. Another step for prevention is to stay away from secondhand smoke. This means if you live with a smoker, ask them not to smoke around you. Also, stay away from allergens and pollutants in the air. Wear a dust mask and gloves to prevent you from breathing in the different pollutants and allergens in the air. This is especially important if you work around hazardous chemicals.