Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term used for a number of diseases that attack the lungs for the long term. This disease prevents airflow from the lungs so that people will have difficulty in breathing.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is generally a combination of two respiratory diseases, namely chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Bronchitis is an infection of the air passages leading to the lungs causing swelling of the bronchial walls and the production of fluid in the airways excessively. While emphysema is a condition of damage to the bags of air in the lungs that occur gradually. The airbag will bubble and deflate as we draw and exhale. Flexibility of the air sac will decrease if a person has emphysema, consequently the amount of air coming in will decrease.
Symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
In the early stages, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) rarely show symptoms or special signs. The symptoms of this disease will appear when there is significant damage to the lungs, generally years after exposure. Therefore, pengidapnya often not aware of this disease.
There are a number of symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) that can occur and should be wary of:
  • Cough with phlegm that does not heal.
  • The more frequent wheezing, even when performing light physical activities such as cooking or wearing clothes.
  • Wheezing or breathing congestion and rang.
  • Limp.
  • Frequent lung infections.
  • Weight loss.
Recurrent attacks Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can sometimes occur suddenly with more severe symptoms for several days and may even be harmful. This condition then subsides and can happen again. The longer a person develops Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the symptoms that occur during a re-attack will also get worse.
If you suspect that you have symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), consult your doctor immediately. Do not delay it.
Risk Factors Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can be caused by various things. A number of risk factors that may increase a person's risk for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) include:
  • Cigarettes. Cigarette smoke exposure in both active and passive smokers is a major factor in COPD causes and a number of other respiratory diseases. It is estimated that about one in four smokers are active in COPD.
  • Exposure to air pollution, such as motor vehicle fumes, dust, or chemicals.
  • Age. COPD will develop slowly over the years. Disease symptoms generally occur in people aged 35 to 40 years.
  • Hereditary factors. If you have a family member with COPD, you also have a higher risk of getting the same disease.
Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Doctors commonly diagnose COPD by asking for symptoms, checking the patient's physical condition, and breathing tests. Physical examination includes examination of breath sounds through stethoscope and body mass index. Smoking history will also be asked.
Respiratory tests will be performed with a spirometer (spirometry check), a tool for measuring lung function through breathing on the machine. Two types of breaths to be measured, namely rapid breathing in one second and the total number of breaths out of the lungs.
If needed, your doctor will recommend some more detailed checks such as:
  • Blood tests to remove the possibility of other diseases, such as anemia that sometimes also causes shortness of breath.
  • X-ray of lung. The severity of the efisema as well as other lung disorders can be examined through this procedure.
  • CT scan for the physical condition of the lungs can be examined.
  • Electrocardiogram and echocardiogram to check the condition of the heart.
  • Sputum sampling.
Early diagnosis will allow you to undergo treatment as soon as possible so that the development of COPD can be inhibited.
Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease
Until now, COPD includes diseases that can not be cured. Treatment aims to relieve symptoms and inhibit the progression of the disease.
However, you do not need to worry, because the right combination of treatments will allow you to live a better life. Some treatment steps that can be done include:
  • Stop smoking or avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. This is a key step to ensure that COPD does not get worse.
  • Using drugs. For example, inhalers of respiratory or respiratory tract inflammation, theophylline tablets that will dilate the respiratory tract, mucolytic tablets (sputum and nasal diluents), antibiotic tablets, and steroid tablets.
  • Therapy for the lungs, eg nebulization (machines that spray sterile liquid vapors that have been mixed with breathing drugs) and oxygen therapy.
  • Lung rehabilitation program is a physical exercise that will usually be lived for approximately 1.5 months. In this program, people will be taught how to control symptoms as well as various knowledge about COPD.
In addition to medical treatment, there are simple steps that we can do to inhibit the increasing damage to the lungs. Some of them are:
  • Use medicine as recommended by physician. Do not stop without discussing with your doctor even if your condition feels better.
  • Periodically check with your doctor so that your health condition can be monitored.
  • Applying a healthy lifestyle, such as maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine.
  • Avoid air pollution, such as cigarette smoke and motor vehicle fumes.
  • Undergo regular vaccinations, for example flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine.

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