(Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
By: Sammy Seale
What is COPD?
What causes COPD?
- Breathlessness with any type of activity.
- Chronic cough.
- Increase in sputum production.
- Chest tightness.
- Frequent chest infections.
- People aged 65–74 years.
- Non-Hispanic whites.
- Individuals who were unemployed, retired, or unable to work.
- Individuals with less than a high school education.
- People with lower incomes.
- Individuals who were divorced, widowed, or separated.
- Current or former smokers.
- Those with a history of asthma.
Treatment or Prevention
You can prevent COPD by not inhaling tobacco smoke or workplace air pollutants. Early detection of COPD might change its course and progress. A simple test, called spirometry can be used to measure pulmonary and detect COPD in anyone with breathing problems.
Treatment of COPD requires a careful and thorough evaluation by a physician. COPD treatment can alleviate symptoms, decrease the frequency and severity of exacerbation and increase exercise tolerance. For those who smoke, the most important aspect of treatment is to stop smoking. Avoiding tobacco smoke and removing other air pollutants from home or workplace are also important. Symptoms such as coughing or wheezing can be treated with medication. Pulmonary rehabilitation is an individualized treatment program that teaches COPD management strategies to increase quality of life. Plans may include breathing strategies, energy-conserving techniques, and nutritional counseling. The flu can cause serious problems in people with COPD. Vaccination during flu season is recommended and respiratory infections should be treated with antibiotics. Patients who have low blood oxygen levels are often given supplemental oxygen.