Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term that generally refers to disorders related to the patient gradually breathtaking: chronic bronchitis and / or emphysema associated with low passage (obstruction of flow) of air. The patient sometimes suffers from chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Chronic bronchitis is responsible for 85% of cases of COPD.
What is chronic obstruction of the lungs?
Chronic bronhitisje prolonged airway inflammation that produces large amounts of mucus. It causes coughing and wheezing. Bronchitis is considered chronic when cough and exacerbation lasting at least 3 months of the year two consecutive years.
Emphysema is a disease that destroys the lung alveoli (air spaces) and / or at least bronchioles (small airways) in the lungs. Simply put, the lungs lose their elasticity and worn out rubber band. This increases the air spaces and makes it difficult to breathe.
Description of disease
Lung damage that occurs due to COPD can not be repaired. In the initial stages of the disease occur dyspnea (labored breathing), and occasional fits of coughing. At first, many people do not even know they have COPD.Initial symptoms include general malaise, growing short of breath, coughing and wheezing. But as the disease progresses, symptoms are more worse. In most cases, smoking is a cause of disease. The probability that the patient will die of COPD is 10 times higher in smokers than in nonsmokers. The disease occurs in approximately 5 of 10,000 people. In chronic bronchitis, the major physical changes responsible for the problems of excessive mucus production. The mucus prevents the flow of air and contributes to the development of infection or reactivation disease, so called. exacerbations. In emphysema, the air spaces at the end of the bronchioles (small airways) and shoot together in that little more work. Airflow is disabled, and part of the lung skvrčava (collapse).
The main cause of COPD is smoking. In fact, approximately 90% of patients smoked. Quitting smoking can slow lung function decline. Some doctors also believe that untreated or inadequately treated asthma can lead to irreversible lung damage. These patients may have symptoms similar to COPD.
Other risk factors include:
Other risk factors include:
Exposure to air pollution at work and the environment
Children's respiratory infection
Patients who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day can develop a cough and expectorate. Wheezing can be seen only during exercise. Coughing at first almost imperceptibly as it occurs only in the morning. The mucous sputum, but became purulent during exacerbation. The main symptom of COPD is shortness of breath (dyspnea) that increases with worsening disease, so called. exacerbations. Shortness of breath accompanied by cough or wheezing and sometimes fever. As the disease progresses, the period between the deterioration becomes shorter.
Symptoms of emphysema usually occur before 50 age, a lot earlier in patients with cystic fibrosis. Sufferers constantly labored breathing, coughing weakly and almost nothing to cough.
In later stages of COPD can be difficult to see the shortness of breath, coughing and coughing up large amounts of mucus, wheezing, constant infections, swollen joints ... The skin takes on a bluish color. In the advanced stage, patients need constant care and supplemental oxygen in order to breathe.
What results can a doctor do?
If you are at risk group or are caring for someone who is in that group, it is important that you are familiar with the symptoms of COPD, and treatment options. The doctor will examine lung function to see whether you have COPD. In the early stages of the disease may not be significant changes, except when listening to the findings of wheezing lungs. How clogging airways and progressing "prenapuhanost" lung becomes apparent. Increases the transverse diameter of the chest because the patient is more difficult to breath. Patients with end stage COPD often appears dramatic. The patient is leaning forward and rest on the hands. Use the muscles of the neck and shoulders on the inhale and exhale through closed lips. The chest seems overblown. The patient may have bluish skin.
During acute exacerbation of COPD often do the following tests: measurement of routine laboratory values, physical examination, electrocardiography (ECG), assessment of cardiac function, sampling of arterial blood gas, chest radiograph and spirometry (measurement of air flow).
The earlier the doctor to detect COPD, treatment is easier. Talk to your doctor if you think you belong to risk group. The best way to control symptoms is to start treating COPD. The first step in taking care of someone who was diagnosed with COPD is to learn all you can about the disease. It is crucial that family members and others are aware of the symptoms, treatment and control of the disease everyday. The more you know, the more you will be able to help.
Learn how to eat properly and exercise, and techniques that will help you care for a person to feel healthier and more comfortable.
Tips that could save your life
You know when the time is right to seek medical help. Be prepared for an emergency plan. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for COPD. However there are many treatments that can alleviate symptoms. Strictly follow doctors' instructions to reduce symptoms and prevent hospitalization.
Changes in lifestyle
When diagnosed, you do everything you can to quit. It can be difficult, but it will mean improvement after diagnosis.
Other changes in lifestyle
Gardening, playing with children, even climbing stairs are simple things can become complicated if you have COPD. Regular exercise can strengthen and improve your mood. There are special breathing exercises that can improve the performance of the lungs. Together with your doctor can compose simple and practical program of exercises according to ability. People with COPD are more susceptible to respiratory infections, and all because it is very important to protect. Frequently and thoroughly washing your hands is an easy way to avoid infection.One should also avoid close encounters with people who have a cold or a flu. Every year in the fall should be vaccinated against the flu. Also talk to your doctor about immunization against pneumonia. This is the Pneumococcal vaccine is recommended every five years.
Unfortunately, specific therapy is very limited. Symptomatic therapy includes inhaled drugs that widen the airways (bronchodilators). These are the anticholinergics and beta 2 agonists (eg salbutamol).
Corticosteroids bring improvement in less than 20% of stable patients.
Antibiotics are used for infectious worsening COPD.
Oxygen therapy is performed for severe chronic pulmonary obstruction.
This is a condition associated with chronic (long lasting) disease. Quality of sleep was worse (accumulates the discharge is difficult and ventilation). The condition can be so difficult to damage or endanger the functioning of vital organs (heart and lungs).
Acute respiratory failure due to infection of the lower airway, surgery, or certain medications. Breathing is difficult, and the mental state of patients ranges from tense, worried and sleepy. The patient may lose consciousness. One of the major complications in end-stage disease is a chronic pulmonary heart (increased heart rate and cardiac failure, edema)
It's good that COPD can be avoided completely, and when the facility early, symptoms can almost always be controlled and mitigated. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk and symptoms of COPD.