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.

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GOLD COPD Guidelines for Lung Disease Treatment

GOLD COPD Guidelines for Lung Disease Treatment

· · COPD

One of the missions of GOLD COPD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) involves the stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Before diagnosis, a doctor may suspect COPD in anyone with a history of smoking or exposure to environmental irritants. Characteristic lung problem symptoms that accompany COPD include chronic  … Read More

What Does COPD Stand For?

What Does COPD Stand For?

· · COPD

If you were a smoker, or if you worked in an area with a lot of pollutants and second-hand smoke, you may have heard your doctor discuss your risk of COPD. But if you’re wondering “What does COPD stand for?” it might be easier to remember the COPD definition by  … Read More

COPD Guidelines: Basic Treatment and Care Options

COPD Guidelines: Basic Treatment and Care Options

· · COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) isn’t simply one disease, but a term used to describe serious lung problems such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Severe, non-reversible asthma can sometimes be considered a form of COPD. Guidelines for treatment of these serious respiratory conditions call for a mix of medications, oxygen  … Read More

What Is Chronic Bronchitis?

What Is Chronic Bronchitis?

· · COPD

Chronic bronchitis is one contributing factor to COPD signs and symptoms, but it also has its own distinct place on the lung diseases list. In order to properly answer the question, “What is chronic bronchitis?” it’s useful to know some basics about our lungs.

For Starters… Lung Facts
Inside the lungs, there  … Read More

Learn These Basic Health Facts About Lungs

Learn These Basic Health Facts About Lungs

· · COPD

You take about 20,000 breaths a day, which means your respiratory system never stops working. It also means that your lungs need to be as healthy as possible in order for you to breathe easily as you age. Knowing the key facts about lungs can help you make healthy decisions  … Read More

How to Prevent Smoking Diseases—and Add Years to Your Life

How to Prevent Smoking Diseases—and Add Years to Your Life

· · COPD

The number of Americans who smoke has fallen to 14.9 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—a big drop from 1997, when 25 percent of Americans smoked.

Sadly, however, smoking still kills about half a million Americans annually, and it isn’t just the obvious smoking diseases (like  … Read More

COPD Life Expectancy

COPD Life Expectancy

· · COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, unfortunately, is associated with a reduced life expectancy. Your COPD prognosis, however, won’t be as bad if you’re in the mildest COPD stages at about age 65.

For example, your COPD life expectancy, if you have Stage 1 COPD, might be reduced by just a few years  … 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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