Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a fatal disease of the airways of the lungs, was one of the third leading causes of death worldwide in 2019. It is claimed that it killed 32 lakh 30 thousand (3.23 million) people. What is worrying is that this problem tends to grow and it comes to know about it later.

Dr. A. Jayachandra, Senior Interventional Pulmonologist at Care Hospitals Outpatient Center, Hyderabad According to the World Health Organization, the problem of COPD is especially seen in people above 65 years of age, but COPD can also occur in younger people. It is usually caused by exposure to smoke or particulates over a long period of time. Although COPD is not completely curable, it can be prevented and treated.

What is COPD?

It is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that affects the airways that carry air to the lungs. In this disease, the airways start shrinking due to which the patient feels difficulty in breathing, cough, increased mucus and wheezing. People with COPD have an increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, and many other conditions.

Causes of COPD


This problem gradually increases with time. Often it is due to a combination of exposures such as active smoking or passive exposure to second-hand smoke, exposure to dust, fumes or chemicals, use of biomass fuels (wood, dung, indoor air pollution due to crop residues), early-life events such as preterm birth and recurrent or severe respiratory infections in childhood, which prevent lung development, childhood Chronic asthma or alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency can also cause COPD at a young age.

Symptoms of COPD


Symptoms of COPD often do not appear until the lungs are damaged. If you smoke, symptoms tend to get worse over time.

shortness of breath
chest tightness
chronic cough with phlegm
frequent respiratory infections
lack of energy
unexplained weight loss
swelling of the ankles, feet, or legs

ways to avoid COPD


never start smoking
if you have started it stop immediately
Avoid second hand smoke too
avoid air pollution

when to see a doctor

when to see a doctor

If your symptoms are not improving or are getting worse, you should see your doctor immediately. See a doctor if you have any signs of infection, such as a fever or a change in sputum. If you experience shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, or difficulty concentrating, see a doctor immediately.

What is the treatment of COPD?


For the treatment of COPD, its careful and thorough examination by the physician is necessary. It can also be relieved by making changes in some therapies and lifestyle like-
Have a customized diet plan
sleep before eating
Take dietary supplements and vitamins
do light exercise
monitor lung health
Breathing technique is also beneficial

Although there is no cure for COPD, making these lifestyle changes and getting the right treatment can help you breathe easier, stay more active, and prevent disease progression.

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only. It cannot be a substitute for any medicine or treatment in any way. Always consult your doctor for more details.

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