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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COPD Rehabilitation: Deal with a Serious Lung Disorder

COPD Rehabilitation: Deal 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

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

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 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

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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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