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.

FreeGuide_cover_COPD_wShield

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.

See full description

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

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

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

COPD Rehabilitation: Dealing with a Serious Lung Disorder

COPD Rehabilitation: Dealing with a Serious Lung Disorder

· · COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) rehabilitation is a series of education and structured exercises that allow people to make the most of the remaining capacity of their lungs. People with COPD who engage in a rehabilitation program have less shortness of breath, an increased ability to exercise, better quality of  … Read More

What Does “GOLD COPD” Mean?

What Does “GOLD COPD” Mean?

· · COPD

The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) is a program created to raise awareness of COPD signs and symptoms and to boost COPD life expectancy. It was launched in collaborative effort between the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the World Health  … 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

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 ICD 9: What It Means

COPD ICD 9: What It Means

· · COPD

You may not have heard of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), but if you have COPD signs and symptoms, the ICD has heard of you—and it even has a series of code numbers for your diagnosis. Codes like “COPD ICD 9” are becoming more important as the use of  … Read More

FreeGuide_cover_COPD_wShield

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.



×
Enter Your Log In Credentials
×
×

Please Log In

You are trying to access subscribers-only content. If you are a subscriber, use the form below to log in.

Subscribers will have unlimited access to the magazine that helps people live more sustainable, self-reliant lives, with feature stories on tending the garden, managing the homestead, raising healthy livestock and more!

×

Please Log In

You are trying to access subscribers-only content. If you are a subscriber, use the form below to log in.

Subscribers will have unlimited access to the magazine that helps the small-scale poultry enthusiast raise healthy, happy, productive flocks for eggs, meat or fun - from the countryside to the urban homestead!