In our daily chorus we come across several medical terms. Recently while visiting a hospital of repute in New Delhi, India, I stumbled on yet another condition titled COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD refers to a group of lung disease which have the ability to block airflow which make breathing a tough job. If we expand the term COPD we come across the following terms:
Chronic - It means a long-term condition which doesn’t go away easily.
Obstructive - The term seems clear as it obstructs the flow of air from the lungs which is partly blocked.
Pulmonary – It’s yet another word for lungs
Disease – You know it well it possess a serious health problem.
Did you know that there are three types of respiratory conditions which mainly accounts COPD.
Asthma - It’s a respiratory condition which is marked by different attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, which results in difficulty in breathing. This condition can said to be connected with allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity.
Chronic bronchitis - It’s also another condition which is marked by inflammation of the lining of a patient’s bronchial tube, which carry air to and from your lungs. People who encounter respiratory problems and develop this condition of COPD have been found more susceptible to colds, flu and pneumonia. If a patient encounter yet another infection related to breathing may further damage to the lung tissue. COPD has also been found responsible for high blood pressure in the arteries which bring blood to our lungs viz., pulmonary hypertension.
Heart Problems – When the function of lungs to inhale and exhale oxygen becomes troublesome, COPD usually triggers and increases the risk of heart attack and other conditions.
Lung Cancer - Chain smokers with chronic bronchitis have great chance of developing lung cancer than those smokers who don’t have chronic bronchitis.
Depression – When a person faces respiratory problems they obstruct with your daily activities which you enjoy with the passage of time it contributes to development of depression. Some of the risk factors which trigger COPD include smoking, long-term exposure to lung irritants like industrial dust and chemical fumes. Pretermbirth also leads to lung damage. Old age and inherited factors including alpha-1, antitypsin protein also come into the list of risk factors of COPD.
When one encounter COPD its symptoms include:
Breathlessness (during physical activities), chest tightness, need of clearing your throat and clear, white yellow or greenish sputum, blueness of lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis), lack of energy and unlimited weight loss are some of the symptoms of COPD. In order to prevent COPD you should quit smoking, eat healthy diet, choose and prepare healthy food and be active i.e. try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Lastly, you can also meditate to control COPD. People are usually diagnosed with COPD when they are in their 50s and 60s but in rare cases people in ages 20 and 30 can also get COPD.