Patients suffering from COPD can sometimes suffer from severe symptoms and their conditions can reach an extreme level. COPD exacerbation is usually designated as the sudden worsening of COPD symptoms. It leads to several fatal complications like excessive shortness of breath and chronic coughing. COPD exacerbation requires immediate medical attention as it can be fatal and can cause permanent damage to the lungs.
Before we can understand what actually happens in COPD, we need to figure out how our normal lung function. Whenever we start breathing, the air enters our body through the nose. Before entering our lungs the air gets filtered and humidified.
The filtered air enters the lungs through the airways and the air sacs or the alveoli ultimately causes the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs. The lungs remain covered by the tiny hair-like structures called cilia.
These mainly function to clean the mucus. Whenever toxic smoke enters our lungs, the airways that carry the inhaled air starts to inflame slowly. Chronic exposure to toxic smoke on a permanent basis damages the lung airways by narrowing it.
As a severe consequence, enough air is not allowed to enter our lungs and we suffer from chronic shortness of breath. The toxic smoke also damages the elastic nature of the lungs and hampers the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange.
The smoke even damages the cilia and mucus accumulation leads to the blockage of the airways. The blocked airways and the obstructed oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange makes it really difficult for a COPD patient
Asthma, on the other hand, is thought to be created by a mixture of hereditary and environmental circumstances. The analysis is done based on the design of signs, acknowledgment to treatment over time and spirometry.
Asthma is defined as an intense lung condition that irritates and narrows the tube-like airways which deliver air in and out of one’s lungs. Asthma is described by repeated incidents of wheezing, briefness of breathing, coughing and a suffocating feeling near the chest area.
Sputum may be generated from the lungs by coughing but it’s often difficult to bring up. A number of different health diseases occur more often in people with asthma, including obstructive sleep apnea, rhinosinusitis, and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Psychological diseases are also common.
Linking the difference between Asthma and COPD
Thus in concluding although COPD and Asthma are often thought to be the same conditions, they aren’t exactly the same. In Asthma, the lung airways swell to produce extra mucus while in COPD the airways in the lungs get permanently damaged or blocked.
The exact cause of Asthma is still not known. However, the main cause of COPD is often related to smoking. COPD is non-reversible as it damages the lungs severely with time. Asthma can increase the chances of COPD. Severe Asthma can cause permanent blockage of the lung airways. Smoking and acute bronchitis can increase the severity of Asthma and can often convert Asthma into COPD.