Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung disease which is usually caused by excessive smoking. It is a situation which arises when there is great damage to the lungs. Most of the cases reported have been due to smoking.
This disease is usually a combination of two diseases which are called chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In chronic bronchitis, which is one of the more common of the two conditions, is a condition where the airways leading to the lungs are blocked with mucus and as a result of that, one finds it difficult to breathe.
In emphysema, the condition is similar but a little more complex. Also in a healthy person, the tiny air sacs in the lungs are considered to be like balloons. Which contract and expand to release air into the lungs. When you have emphysema, these air sacs get damaged and you feel the shortness of breath.
Causes of COPD:
- One of the main causes of COPD is smoking. When the tobacco smoke enters one’s lungs, it irritates the airways in the lungs and reduces the stretching abilities of the fibers in the lungs.
- One of the things that can put us at risk of COPD is something that we cannot avoid. Dust, pollution, particulate matter, chemical fumes are all examples of things that could be potentially dangerous causes of COPD. It takes a while before one develops COPD and these are usually people above the age of 60.
Symptoms of COPD:
Some of the main symptoms of COPD are a long-lasting chronic cough, mucus that comes up when one coughs and shortness of breath when you exercise. As COPD takes time to develop, people with COPD find it extremely difficult to do simple things like getting dressed or cook up a meal. It becomes more difficult to eat a meal or to do any kind of physical activity. There is also a general effect of weight loss and people might get weaker.
Living with COPD:
One of the first few steps one should take while living with COPD is to completely quit smoking. Even though when there is a problem with the lungs, it cannot be reversed. However quitting smoking will reduce the effect that smoking can have on the lungs and will tone down the symptoms associated with this. There are several ways one can quit smoking and there has been a sufficient amount of medication in this regard. There are nicotine replacement therapies which are designed to ensure that the process is a little easier.
In conclusion, this is a worse disease than people make it out to be and it is important to take precautions before it is a little too late. There have been cases of COPD where people have found it extremely difficult to live with and as a result of that. Their quality of life has deteriorated to a great extent. Not smoking and taking precautions against pollution would be an ideal way of never contracting a disease such as this one.