Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, is a combination of progressive lungs diseases. Emphysema and Chronic bronchitis are the most common COPD diseases. Generally, the people suffering from COPD have both of these diseases.
In Emphysema, the air sacs or alveoli in the lungs are destroyed, which interferes the outward air flow.
In bronchitis, the bronchial tubes get inflamed and narrow, by which the mucus gets build up.
Who gets most affected by the COPD disease?
COPD takes a long time to develop in an individual. Smoking is one of the top causes of it. However, exposure to chemical irritants for a long time can also lead to COPD or COPD diseases. People who work in low-quality air conditions or people who are exposed to very tiny or microscopic substances such as coal, smoke fumes, dust such as in coal fields, chemical factories, etc. are much more likely to affect from it.
The COPD stages are measured by spirometry grading. There is a GOLD classification in each grading system for COPD stages.
There are four GOLD grades on the basis spirometry grading:
- Grade 1: Mild
- Grade 2: moderate
- Grade 3: severe
- Grade 4: very severe
The grades are given by the spirometry test result of the FEV1. It is the amount of air that an individual can exhale out of the lungs in the first one second of forced expiration. The criticalness increases as the FEV1 increases.
In the GOLD classification, the symptoms and the history of acute exacerbations are also considered. Thereafter, the doctor gives a letter group to define your COPD stage.
A person suffering from COPD found difficulty in breathing. The symptoms are mild at the initial stage such as intermittent coughing and breathe shortness. As the disease, progresses, it becomes very hard for a person to breathe.
The other symptoms include wheezing and tightness in the chest and excess sputum production.
In the initial stage, the COPD is quite mild, one can mistake it as a cold.
The symptoms are
- Very infrequent shortness of breath, generally after exercise.
- Mild cough
- A need for cleaning the throat especially after waking up
Probably, you will start avoiding some physical activities such as avoiding stairs, and other tiring works.
As the disease progresses, the lungs get more damaged, an individual can experience symptoms such as:
- Breath shortness even after very mild exercise such as walking or climbing stairs
- Wheezing, it is a high pitched sound during breathing
- Tightness in chest
- Cough with or without mucus
- An everyday need of clearing mucus from the lungs
- Cold, flu and respiratory infections
- Weakness and lack of energy
In the advanced stages, the symptoms are:
- Swelling of the feet, legs, and ankles
- Weight loss
If you are suffering from any of the given symptoms then immediately consult a pulmonologist for the COPD treatment.
In Jaipur, you can get the best COPD treatment and for Asthma, and other breathing diseases by the leading pulmonologist in Jaipur, Dr. Pankaj Gulati. He has a vast experience of treating 3000+ patients in a very short span of time.
In a developing country like India, the single major cause of COPD is smoking cigarettes. Nearly 9 out of 10 persons in India who are suffering from COPD are either smokers or have a habit of smoking earlier.
Generally, the people suffering from COPD are at least 40 years old and have some linking to smoking. In short, more the tobacco products you smoke, there would be more chances of COPD.
If you are suffering from Asthma or other lung diseases, then the chances of COPD increases greatly.
The other causes of COPD include exposure to chemical and fumes in your workplace, and constant exposure to air pollution, dust and pollutants can also lead to COPD.
To diagnose COPD there is no such a single test, the doctor conducts a physical exam, examine the symptoms, and diagnostic test results.
While diagnosis the doctor will ask several questions such as:
- Are you a smoker or smoked in the past?
- Were you exposed to lung irritants in your workplace?
- Have you consumed a lot of secondhand smoke?
- Any family history of COPD?
- Are you suffering from any lung disease such as Asthma?
While physical exam, the doctor will listen to your lungs using the stethoscope as you will breathe. There are some other tests that other doctor will perform:
- Imaging tests of chest such as X-ray or CT Scan
- Blood test to measure blood oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other important levels.
If you are suffering from any of the above-mentioned symptoms, then you should immediately consult your pulmonologist. You can search the pulmonologist just by typing “Pulmonologist near me” or “Pulmonologist in Jaipur” or in the city where you live and there would be many results. You can opt for me which is most suitable for you.
COPD treatments can ease the symptoms, and can also prevent further complications plus slows down the disease progression. The doctor will prescribe you some medications as per your COPD stage and therapies.
A person is needed oxygen therapy if its blood oxygen level is quite low. The supplemental oxygen is provided through either the oxygen mask or nasal cannula for better breathing.
The doctor recommends surgery for the patient when all other medications and therapy treatments do not give that many results. Generally, it happens in cases of severe emphysema.
Bullectomy is a type of surgery in which a surgeon removes large abnormal air spaces from the lungs. The other is lung volume reduction is surgery, in which the surgeon removes damaged upper lung tissue.
In some cases, Lung transplantation is also an option.
There are many lifestyle changes that can help to ease the symptoms and also provides much relief, such as:
- Quitting Smoking
- Avoiding chemical fumes and pollutants
- Take proper nutrition
- Proper exercise
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