COPD Symptoms and Causes
COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. It is a type of lung disease that gets worst over time. The effect of COPD is inflammation and the inability of air to flow through the lungs.
COPD is more of a general definition used to describe some key breathing problems like:
- Chronic Bronchitis
Most of the people that have COPD usually carry two of the conditions. Some will carry Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema and some may only carry asthma.
COPD causes are all the usual suspects
- Cigarette smoking or long-term exposure to second-hand smoke is the leading COPD cause.
- Air pollution and not taking precaution be wearing a mask can be COPD causes
- Dust or workplace fumes are COPD causes
- Breathing in wildfire smoke without protection are COPD causes
All of the COPD causes act as irritants to the lungs and can contribute to COPD. There is a genetic deficiency of Alpha-1 antitrypsin that can also cause COPD but it is rarer.
A virus that causes influenza or pneumonia will not cause COPD but it will make you extremely sick if you already have COPD. It is very important that you keep your vaccination records up to date because the doctor will need to see these results one day.
COPD symptoms come in stages
When you first get COPD you often have any symptoms or only experience mild symptoms. As the disease progresses the symptoms start to get worst. Common COPD symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest Tightness
- Ongoing wet cough with quite a lot of mucus
- Frequent or flu.
- Feeling tired
As the COPD symptoms worsen
Breathing requires a lot of energy making it difficult to play sports or do any type of cardiovascular exercise. Often the mucus gets trapped and becomes infested with germs causing more issues. It will become difficult to do routine activities like:
- Tying your shoes
- Getting dressed
- Climbing stairs
- Ongoing persistent and chronic cough.
When you're at the more advanced stages of COPD symptoms will be
- feeling tired
- Weight loss
- Loss of muscle strength and endurance
- Swollen legs or feet from the fluid build-up
- Blue lip due to lack of oxygen
There are 3 stages of COPD Symptoms are:
Under normal conditions, air travels into the lungs through the windpipe into the bronchial tube. Once the air gets into the lungs it follows different paths into smaller tubes that are called bronchioles that have a lot of blood supply.
Towards the end of the bronchial tubes there, are billions of air sacks called alveoli's. Under normal conditions, the walls of these sacks are flexible and can contract in and out while inhaling and exhaling.
This action in the lungs provides oxygen to the blood and the blood then carries the oxygen to all parts of your body.
For people with COPD, the airways don’t work as well because they are thick and inflamed causing airflow to be restricted. Lungs will also have more mucus than normal lungs which creates clogs in the airways so the air doesn't pass as easily.
Finally, the billions of air sacks we have are also damaged and they lose their flexibility or elasticity. As these air sacks get more damaged over time there are fewer air sacks to provide oxygen to the bloodstream.
It is hard for lungs with COPD to inflate and deflate like normal lungs. Because there is trapped air in the damaged air sacks in make it harder to get new fresh air into the lungs.
COPD is a leading cause of death and primarily diagnosed in 40+ year-oldsUnited States
- 3rd leading cause of death
- Affects 14 million people
- COPD is more common in men
- But more women die from COPD
- Affects 3 million people
- 4th leading cause of death.
We must say that government restriction to curb smoking is help but COPD is getting worst across the world due to smoking and PM2.5 air pollution. Protecting the health of your lungs is more important than ever.
There is no cure for COPD
Unfortunately, there is no cure at this point for COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. You can take steps to slow the progression of the disease by protecting your lungs through a healthy active lifestyle.
- Daily exercise
- Wearing a good face mask with filtration if you live in a polluted area
- Stop smoking
- Ask your family member to not smoke when you are around.
- Using a good HEPA air purifier to ensure the air is clean in our home.
- Consult your doctor early
- Pulmonary rehabilitation or therapy
We hope you find this information on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD useful. We are not medical doctors at KandyMask but we do have a passion for lung protection.
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