Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
or COPD is a
progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe.
COPD can cause coughing the produces large
amounts of mucus, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and other
Smoking cigarette is the leading cause of
COPD. Most people who have COPD are or were smokers. Long term exposure to
other lung irritants such as dust, air pollution and chemical fumes may also
contribute to COPD.
With COPD, there is less air flow going in
and out of the airways for the following reasons:
- The airways and air sacs lose their
The walls between the air sacs are
The walls of the airways become thick and
The airways make more mucus than usual,
which can cause clogging.
In the United Stated, COPD includes two
main conditions: Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis.
In Emphysema, the wall in the air sacs are
damaged which causes the air sacs to lose their shape and become floppy. This
damage can also destroy the walls of the air sacs leading to fewer and larger
sacs. If this happens, the amount of gas exchange in the lungs in reduced.
In Chronic Bronchitis, the lining if the
airway is constantly irritated and inflamed which causes the linings to
thicken. Lots of thick mucus form in the airways, making it hard to breathe.
Bronchodilators relax the muscles around
the airways. This helps open up the airways and makes breathing easier. Most of
them are taken using an inhaler. An inhaler allows the medicine to go straight
to your lungs.
Combination Bronchodilators plus Inhaled
Steroids help reduce airway inflammation.
rehabilitation is a broad program that helps improve the well-being of people
who have chronic breathing problems.
suffer from severe COPD and low levels of 02 in your blood, oxygen therapy can
help you breath better with surgery.
used as a last resource if severe symptoms of COPD have not improved from
taking medication. Lung transplant can improve your lung function and quality
of life. However, lung transplants have many risks such as infections.
may lead to dead if the body rejects the transplant.