COPD

COPD

COPD is not one, but two conditions: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Early intervention, medications and smaller portable oxygen systems can help relieve COPD symptoms.

First, what is emphysema? It’s a disease in which the air sacs of the lungs become damaged. Normally, as air travels from the mouth through the airways, it flows into air sacs called alveoli. These sacs stretch and fill up like tiny balloons. Oxygen passes through the alveoli walls into the bloodstream. Carbon dioxide from the blood passes out through the alveoli to be removed via exhalation. In emphysema, the air sacs lose their stretchiness and their inner walls are destroyed. This damage makes it harder for the lungs to absorb oxygen.

In chronic bronchitis, the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and thickens. Sticky mucus forms, which blocks the airways and interferes with normal breathing.

Typical COPD signs and symptoms are a cough that produces a lot of phlegm, shortness of breath, chest pain and tightness, and wheezing. Chronic bronchitis symptoms include many of these same signs—especially a cough and shortness of breath.

Because most COPD cases are caused by exposure to tobacco smoke, the first step in treating the condition is to stop smoking. Medicines can relieve the cough, shortness of breath, and other COPD symptoms. Bronchodilators relax the muscles of the airways, opening them up to make it easier to breathe. Steroid medicines bring down inflammation in the airways. These medicines are typically breathed in through a device called an inhaler.

People with very low oxygen levels in their blood may need to breathe oxygen through a mask or a cannula in the nose. Some people use oxygen only during exertion, such as when exercising. Others need it throughout the day. One way for people with COPD to improve their quality of life is by taking part in a program called pulmonary rehabilitation. In this program, a team of nurses, physical therapists, and other specialists offer exercise and diet tips, along with other strategies to help manage the disease.

Get Your Breath Back!

Download this expert FREE guide, What Is COPD?: Symptoms and treatments of bronchitis and emphysema.

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COPD Home Remedies: How to Ease Symptoms

COPD Home Remedies: How to Ease Symptoms

· · COPD

Giving up the habit of smoking is an essential step for preventing and treating COPD, and can help you avoid COPD complications—but it isn’t easy. About 70 percent of adult smokers report that they want to stop completely, but very few succeed in permanently quitting on their first attempt. To  … Read More

Quit Smoking: Increase Your Life Expectancy with COPD

Quit Smoking: Increase Your Life Expectancy with COPD

· · COPD

If you’re battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and you’re still a smoker, you’ve likely already heard this good advice: Give up cigarettes and you can improve life expectancy with COPD.

Nicotine is an addictive substance that acts on regions of the brain that produce pleasurable effects, and it produces these effects  … Read More

COPD Exacerbations: These Lung Condition Flare-Ups Can Be Serious

COPD Exacerbations: These Lung Condition Flare-Ups Can Be Serious

· · COPD

If you battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, you may already be aware of COPD exacerbations—sudden flare-ups of COPD signs and symptoms beyond normal day-to-day variations.

Increased breathlessness along with wheezing, chest tightness, increased cough and sputum, change of the color of sputum, and fever are common features of COPD  … Read More

COPD Prognosis: What to Do When It Worsens

COPD Prognosis: What to Do When It Worsens

· · COPD

One of the lung problem symptoms people in the last stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may experience, according to the standard COPD GOLD classification, is a low level of oxygen in their blood. This condition is called hypoxemia, and can cause increased difficulty breathing, and further impair the ability  … Read More

Is There Such a Thing as a COPD Diet?

Is There Such a Thing as a COPD Diet?

· · COPD

You may not think that what you eat has anything to do with your risk of developing lung cancer or COPD. Diet, however, especially one that’s rich in fiber, may actually play a key role in preventing certain breathing diseases. COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and it includes  … Read More

Is There a COPD Cure? Here’s the Answer

Is There a COPD Cure? Here’s the Answer

· · COPD

It’s a natural question for anyone who has been diagnosed with (or who knows someone dealing with) chronic pulmonary obstructive disease: “Is there a COPD cure?”

There may not be a COPD cure, but treatment with COPD medications and other approaches can relieve symptoms, prevent the disease from getting worse, and  … Read More

What Is Emphysema?

What Is Emphysema?

· · COPD

Emphysema is one contributing factor to COPD signs and symptoms, but it also has its own distinct place in the lung diseases list. What is emphysema? In order to properly answer the question, it helps to understand how our lungs work.
For Starters: Lung Facts
Inside the lungs, there is a branching  … Read More

Lifestyle Changes Among the Keys to COPD Treatment

Lifestyle Changes Among the Keys to COPD Treatment

· · COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious respiratory condition that currently has no cure. But COPD treatment can help manage COPD symptoms. Along with medications, which are usually inhaled, dealing with COPD also requires behaviors that support lung health.

Understanding COPD
COPD is actually a broad term used to describe two  … Read More

COPD Symptoms: What They Mean

COPD Symptoms: What They Mean

· · COPD

Knowing the facts about lungs will help you understand why COPD—chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—can be difficult to diagnose until it is quite advanced. The lungs, with more than 300 million alveoli, have an amazing capacity. Not all of these alveoli are used for the day-to-day work of normal breathing—the extra  … Read More

Get Your Breath Back!

Download this expert FREE guide, What Is COPD?: Symptoms and treatments of bronchitis and emphysema.

Get this FREE Guide filled with clear answers to your most important questions and concerns about lung health.



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