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
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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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
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
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
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term for lung diseases that include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Women are 37 percent more likely than men to have COPD, and it is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. COPD is undiagnosed in many patients who have it, but … Read More
Of the numerous diseases that can affect your lungs, pulmonary fibrosis could be one of the most perplexing. Although physicians can sometimes pinpoint a cause of the disease, in most cases no underlying culprit is ever identified. And, since the disease manifests differently from person to person, it can be … Read More
“GOLD COPD”—you may have read or heard the phrase in relation to lung diseases. But what does GOLD COPD mean?
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 … Read More
Once you’ve been told you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it’s important to find out where you are as far as COPD stages are concerned. COPD stages include mild (Stage 1 COPD), moderate (Stage 2 COPD), severe (Stage 3 COPD), and very severe (Stage 4 COPD).
These classifications are … Read More