COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It causes damage to lungs and may be fatal if not treated on time, however methods to treat and prevent this disease do exist.
COPD causes the air passage in the lungs to inflame and this makes difficult to breathe properly. COPD is a blend of two disease one being emphysema and the other being chronic bronchitis both these diseases have a potential to block the airways causing block airflow which makes breathing difficult for the patient.
Looking at the condition of emphysema the air sacs in the alveoli tend to get damaged and due to this the exchange of gases cannot take place resulting to inflate the lungs and this traps the air which makes breathing very difficult.
Chronic bronchitis is a kind of COPD where the air passages in the lungs get inflammation on the lining part and hence it results to cause swollen parts in the surroundings of the walls of airways leading to make breathing very difficult.
Levels of COPD
Every disease has different stages and the condition doesn’t worsen immediately, it moves ahead gradually and then reaches the last stage, therefore it is always recommended even in the case of COPD to get it treated as soon as the symptoms appear so that the condition doesn’t worsen much.
Level 1 of COPD
The first level of COPD is where a patient suffers mild inflammation, the condition hasn’t worsened much and there is a long time for it to cross the boundaries. In this stage, the shortness of breath takes place but at a lower frequency also the common symptoms are cough and mucus release.
Level 2 of COPD
The second level is when the condition of COPD starts moving ahead and here the alarm rings that the patient needs to visit the doctor. A patient faces shortness of breath at an increased level when it comes to this stage, it happens usually during exercising, climbing stairs or lifting heavy objects.
Level 3 of COPD
This is the 3rd stage of COPD where a person is unable to tolerate the pressure of even exercise because the shortness of breath becomes eminent in no time, this stage is the risky one and immediate attentions should be given to the patient at this stage.
Level 4 of COPD
This level is now life threatening, people suffering from COPD may find this stage as one of the most irritating one because walking a few steps even becomes very stressful and usually people at this stage are considered to be at a very risky position.
Reasons of COPD Occurrence
There are always some or the other underlying causes that lead to a medical condition and the same goes for COPD, a few such reasons may comprise of the following ones.
- Smoking is one of the most common cause of COPD, smoking is responsible for damaging the lungs and cause the air passage to get inflamed and swollen so all in all the role played by smoking in causing this disease is at the highest level.
- People who themselves never smoke but someone in their surroundings smokes are also at a risk of having this disease, secondhand smokers are also subject to the development of COPD at many instances.
- Pollution is also one of the most common causes of this disease because when you live in a polluted area all kinds of fumes are inhaled and some may prove to be damaging for your lungs causing trouble.
- People who work in environments where chemicals are used are also at a risk of developing this condition because the fumes of chemicals may get inhaled by them and this damages the lungs.
Symptoms of COPD (ii)
COPD needs immediate attention and for this you must always be weary of the COPD signs which may comprise of the following:
- Persistent cough and continuous mucus building up.
- Producing a wheezing sound when breathing.
- Feeling tried and short of breathe when exercising or carrying out strenuous activities.
- People suffering from COPD level 3 and 4 also may have symptoms like weight loss and may have swollen ankles and hands.
Treating the Condition of COPD
The treatment of COPD is somehow possible provided that it is at the initial stage, the final stage COPD may not be completely eliminated. However the process may be slowed down.
- Medications are prescribed by doctors to treat COPD even inhalers are also prescribed by doctors to treat the condition of COPD.
- Patients of COPD are also prescribed to get the cold and flu jabs because people who suffer from COPD are at a higher risk of catching flu and this may worsen their present condition.
- Lung transplant is also recommended to patients who are suffering from COPD and specially those patients who are at the verge of extremely damaged lungs.
- A person who is suffering from COPD is also recommended to change their lifestyle because if they have about of smoking they must leave that habit, if they are subjected to environments which are polluted they should avoid them.
- Oxygen therapy is also recommended by many doctors for the patients who suffer from this disease and it even helps a lot.
Diseases which are associated with causing damage to the lungs are always those which lead to serious problems in the longer run if left untreated. Lungs are one of the main and most important organs of a person’s body because it regulates breathing and when something goes wrong this may turn out to be fatal as well.
COPD signs and symptoms are fairly visible and also these days this condition is getting very common day by day and hence people must take initiatives to keep themselves aware of every sign they encounter so that the treatment starts quickly after diagnoses. Always keep an eye on the above stated symptoms and make sure to get yourself treated immediately so that the disease is subsided at the earlier stages rather than wasting time for no reason.