Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD, is when serious and potentially deadly obstruction of airflow is seen within the lungs. It can be a significant respiratory problem. It is chronic in nature or has been an issues for many years.
It occurs when the airways leading to the Lungs become narrow. COPD can often be the result of chronic respiratory conditions such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of COPD. Other pollutants can also be associated such as dust, chemicals, and pollution.
As a result of such chemicals, changes in lung function can be seen in those with COPD. Smoking alone accounts from 70-80% of COPD cases.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is often seen in someone older than 60. However, if a younger patient has significant smoking history, this could happen even younger.
Symptoms of COPD
– Cough is the most consistent symptom
– Dyspnea (Shortness of breath)
– Difficulty breathing with or without exercise, among others
– Chest enlargement
*** Cor pulmonale may be a complication of late stage COPD
Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
1.) Chest X-ray imagining can be somewhat helpful
2.) MRI or CT can evaluate the severity of symptoms
2.) Breathing Tests
Complications of COPD
COPD can have episodes of worsening and improving. This can be sporadic or be triggered by stress, allergies, change in environment, pollutants and others.
Oxygen is often essential in moderate to severe COPD. Other treatment options including smoking cessation, medications, and in rare cases, surgery.
Prevention is attained through no long-term smoking
1,) Transdermal patch
2.) Nicotine gum
4.) Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
– Anticholinergics Medications and others
1.) Ipratropium bromide
B.) Oral Theophylline
Surgery may be appropriate in some cases
– Lung transplantation
– Volume capacity surgery – Lung reduction