COPD the Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is also referred to as the “great unknown sister of asthma”. Formerly known as “smoker’s lung” designated disease is one of the most common diseases. Meanwhile, it’s number four through the most common causes of death in US. In New York alone, a quarter of a million people have been already affected.
COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is a collective term for several lung diseases, in which the exhalation (expiration) is disabled. These include chronic obstructive bronchitis or emphysema. Those affected suffer from shortness of breath, constant cough and sputum production, so the spitting of thick mucus have place to be (AHA syndrome).
Trigger for the symptoms are a lot of small foci of inflammation in the lungs. This lead to a narrowing of the airways, swelling of the bronchial mucosa and to the increased formation of mucus. While asthma and a slight bronchitis lungs only temporarily constrict airways, the COPD inflammation destroy the tissue. Remains scar tissue, which can no longer afford at full strength air exchange.
Main cause of the disease are smoking and passive smoking. More rarely it’s fine dust particles, such as those wich found on construction sites or in agriculture, as a trigger of the disease.
Even in an existing COPD immediate stop smoking is the most important therapeutic measure.
If the COPD once there, it is all about to obtain the quality of life of those affected, because the disease is not curable. However, modern methods of treatment and the active patient can change the course of the disease slow significantly. In addition to smoking that includes sports. Controlled stress is supporting the development of the muscles of the lungs, which is especially important for patients with COPD.
Full stop of disease is impossible but you can slow down the progression of the disease. The doctors distinguish four stages of the disease. Show in Group I only mild symptoms, lung function differs in patients of group IV over 70 percent of the normal lung capacity. The patients are chronically undersupplied with oxygen and suffer from shortness of breath even at rest. The quality of life is severely restricted. Those affected suffer from sudden bouts of breathlessness, often triggered by cold viruses or bacteria. It comes to a sudden shortness of breath when walking and during speaking, or the heart beats rapidly and irregularly, should be equal to an emergency doctor be consulted.
Approximately half of all patients also suffer from comorbidities. Here are primarily cardiovascular disorders, arteriosclerosis and diabetes occur. In addition, many patients with COPD suffer from loss of appetite, which can lead to severe weight loss. Also depression are unfortunately frequent companion of those who affected. These comorbidities are again contribute to tobacco use.