Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to a group of disease that cause airflow obstruction and breathing-related problems. It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis and has become a major burden to people’s health and economy. COPD is a silent killer in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs): an estimated 328 million people have COPD worldwide , and in 15 years, COPD is expected to become the leading cause of death and the economic impact of COPD among LMICs is expected to increase to £1.7 trillion by 2030
The Month of November Is COPD Awareness Month and 16th November is World COPD Day. The 2022 theme for World COPD Day is “Your Lungs for Life” . This year’s theme aims to highlight the importance of lifelong lung health. Everyone is born with a healthy lung (except congenital cases)but in due course of time smoking, air pollution takes a toll in our lungs and leads to various respiratory disease. In This article we are discussing the preventions and things we should follow to prevent and control COPD other than the medicine part.
Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Smoking and secondhand smoke exposure during childhood and teenage years can slow lung growth and development and can increase the risk of developing COPD later in life. Secondhand smoke is smoke from burning tobacco products, such as cigarettes,hookah or smoke that has been exhaled, or breathed out, by a person .Quitting to smoke is the easiest way to prevent COPD and those already suffering from COPD ,quitting cigarette smoking helps to prevent Disease Progression.
Air pollution is a known factor which contributes in both causing and exacerbating the symptoms of COPD. Outdoor air pollution from industrial production, garbage burning, secondhand smoke, cigarette smoking and indoor air pollution from biomass fuel are some of the potential sources of air pollution. Common adverse health effects of air pollution are increased irritation of the respiratory tract, chronic cough, chest tightness, decreased pulmonary function and increased vulnerability to allergens and other immune system challenges. Many cities and regions in the developed nations keep a check on their air pollution levels so that people who are suffering from COPD avoid the outdoors when pollution levels are high. In developing nations and underdeveloped regions, there should be implementation of COPD awareness programmes for understanding the disease and being conscious of it. Biomass Fuel exposure is a leading cause of COPD in women hence women should avoid biomass fuel exposure to cook food.
Changes in lifestyle are possible and may be beneficial in preventing COPD. Chest Physiotherapy like Deep Diaphragmatic exercise and purse lip Breathing, Nutritional counselling, education on lung disease help us succeed to curb progression of the disease. The progressive course of COPD is connected with the development of extra pulmonary complications such as cardiovascular diseases, skeletal muscle dysfunction, osteoporosis, cachexia, anxiety and depression. Respiratory rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary program for treating patients with chronic pulmonary diseases and its principal goal is to improve both a person’s quality of life and also how well they function during daily activities.. Physiotherapy is the cornerstone in the structure of respiratory rehabilitation. Physiotherapy includes strength and endurance exercises and breathing exercises to optimize exercise tolerance ,add vigour in daily activities, reduces breathlessness, improves quality of life by applying various therapeutic exercises and breathing techniques.
Next comes the role of Vaccine in Controlling COPD. Patient Suffering From COPD should take their Influenza Vaccine and Pneumococcal Vaccines timely as they help in reducing COPD exacerbation
Lastly before concluding I would emphasize that in COPD ,inhalers are the mainstay of treatment and right inhalers with proper inhalation technique should be taught to COPD patients and COPD patients should never stop their medicine themselves without consulting their doctor. If we follow these simple things, not only COPD can be controlled to a great extent but can also reduce the economic burden which is having a great toll in the developing countries.
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