Nearly 5 % of world population suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is classified as obstructive lung disease where there is long-term poor air flow.
Sign & symptoms
It often develops slowly and worsens as time goes by. COPD can be known on the basis of following symptoms and sign
- Coughing is one of the common sign. It can be dry and severe with mucus. Mucus can change colour from being clear to green or yellow
- There can be muscular pain and weakness. A person might feel tired and have the inability to exercise and walk along with shortness of breath
- Tightening of the chest
- Fast heart rate and high carbon dioxide level in blood
- Wheezing, rapid breathing, frequent respiratory infection
- Smoking is the major culprit for COPD in the world. Smoking non-conventional form of tobacco in cigarettes, hookah, or chillum is the main cause for such kind of diseases. Over the time smoking irritates the airway and destroys the fibers in lungs
- Can also be caused by harmful pollutant like chemicals, dust, second-hand smoke, dust, fumes etc
- One who has never smoked can get COPD through genetics. Currently, COPD is inherited risk factor is alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency (AAT)
COPD can be diagnosed with Spirometer, a machine that is connected to hose that involves breathing in it. It measures how lungs can hold the air and how much it can blow in and out.
Doctors may also suggest chest x-ray, testing of oxygen in the blood and some test pertaining to the functioning of lungs.
COPD is said to be non-curable diseases but it can be controlled or further delayed from progression. Following are the ways:
- Avoid smoking and being in places which are full of pollution
- Some doctors may suggest oxygen mask depending upon oxygen level in human body
- If the condition is a severe doctor may put on non –invasive ventilation in hospital
- The advance stage may suggest cutting off the affected area of lungs in surgery or lung transplant (which depend upon the availability of donor) for better living
- Visiting a pulmonary rehabilitation center is also one mode of treatment. They have a well-designed program for one to have control
One can live a better life with COPD if they take proper care of themselves and maintain a good diet.