Lower/Upper Respiratory Tract Infection Treatment
Asthma Management Program
Management of Smoking Cessation
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment
Treatment of Sleep Disturbance
Oxygen Therapy Treatment
Patient Review Highlights
COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a lung disease wherein, it gets difficult for a person to breathe due to thickening and inflammation of airways. World COPD day is being celebrated on 16th November, in order to, raise wareness about COPD. It is a group of progressive lung diseases, the most common ones of which are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema destroys your lungs’ air sacs while bronchitis leads to the inflammation and narrowing of your bronchial tubes.
Symptoms of COPD
The early symptoms of COPD include occasional shortness of breath, especially after physical exercise, mild and recurrent cough and having the urge to clear your throat many times. You may start avoiding physical activities eventually. Other symptoms, which follow include wheezing, chest tightness, chronic cough with mucus, an urge to clear mucus from the lungs, frequent flu, colds and fatigue.
Factors behind it
Smoking accounts for being the major cause of COPD in developed countries. Commonly, people over the age of 40 with a history of smoking are affected with COPD. The more you smoke, more are your chances of getting the condition increase. Exposure to chemicals and harmful fumes may also cause COPD. Long-term exposure to polluted air and inhaling dust are other causes. The deficiency of a protein called alpha-1-antitrypsin is also said to cause COPD.
COPD is diagnosed on the basis of several tests and examinations. They include spirometry, which is a noninvasive test for assessing lung function, imaging tests such as a chest X-ray or CT scan which provides an image of the lung for observation. An arterial blood gas test is also carried out for measuring blood oxygen levels.
The treatment options for COPD include the following:
- Medication: Bronchodilators are used for relaxing the muscles of your lungs’ airways which simplify breathing. They are taken via inhalers. Glucocorticosteroids may be added to reduce inflammation.
- Oxygen therapy: When your blood oxygen levels are low, oxygen is given via masks and nasal prongs which help you to breathe better.
- Surgery: Surgery is carried out in the case of severe COPD or when other treatment methods fail. Bullectomy is a common surgical procedure used, in which the large air sacs or “bullae” are removed from the lungs. The lung volume reduction surgery is also carried out in which damaged lung tissues are removed. Lung transplant is required in extreme cases.
- Lifestyle changes: You need to make some lifestyle changes to alleviate the symptoms of COPD which include the following:
- Quit smoking in case you are a regular smoker.
- Avoid any form of second-hand smoke and chemical fumes.
- Consume all the essential nutrients required by your body.
- Consult a doctor about your exercise patterns.
In case you experience any symptom of COPD, you should consult a doctor immediately for quick diagnosis and proper treatment.
Are you experiencing symptoms of flu, such as a cough, sore throat, fever, body aches and headaches? Are you feeling sick around your stomach and throwing up more than usual? This indicates you have H1N1 flu or swine flu. Swine flu is a form of influenza that affects pigs, or a form of human influenza that is caused by a related virus.
It is difficult to tell whether you have got swine flu or seasonal flu, as the associated symptoms are similar. There are a few different symptoms. A laboratory test is hence required for the detection of swine flu. Sometimes, a rapid flu test taken in a doctor’s chamber is not enough for the proper diagnosis of swine flu.
For swine flu testing, a swab is taken by a doctor from the insides of your nose and the back of your throat. This test is usually taken by people who are living in hospitals or are at a high risk of death because of life threatening conditions, because of swine flu. Children below the age of 6, people above the age of 65, and children taking aspirin therapy are more likely to develop swine flu. Adults or children suffering from lung, blood, liver and nervous system disorders are also prone to swine flu. Pregnant women and people with a weak immune system are also susceptible to swine flu.
Several antiviral drugs, which are used to treat seasonal flu, are used to treat swine flu as well. However, some drugs prescribed for seasonal flu do not respond to swine flu. Using these medicines enables faster treatment and also makes the patient feel better. You must take the medicines within 48 hours of observing the first swine flu symptom. They are also effective when given at a later stage. Antibiotics do not treat swine flu as the flu itself is caused by a virus and not by a bacterium.
Certain over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers and medicines for cold and flu may also help in relieving aches, fever and pain. Abstain from giving aspirin to patients below the age of eighteen as it could lead to Reye’s syndrome. You can prevent yourself from getting swine flu by taking a vaccine. The same flu vaccine, which prevents seasonal flu, also protects the H1N1 swine flu strain. This can be taken in the form of a shot or a nasal spray. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
If you have been diagnosed with asthma, it is important for you to know about the most common triggers of asthma. Asthma is a medical condition, which is characterised by paroxysmal wheezing respiration dyspnoea. It causes breathing difficulties, tightened chest and coughing. By identifying and reducing your exposure to several asthma triggers, you will be able to manage or control your asthma symptoms and the frequency of your asthma attacks. Here are the most common triggers of asthma you should know about:
Allergies that trigger asthma
Allergies, are common problems and over 80% of people are suffering from asthma and are allergic towards substances like weed pollens, animal dander, dust mites, mould and cockroach particles. Children having large amounts of cockroach droppings in their homes are more likely to develop childhood asthma. Dust exposure may lead to dust mite allergy in asthmatic patients.
Food which triggers asthma
Certain food allergies may lead to isolated asthma, where other symptoms are absent. Patients with food allergies can exhibit asthma as a part of anaphylaxis, which are food induced. The common food items which are associated with allergies include eggs, peanuts, cow milk, soy, fish, wheat, shrimps, salads and fresh fruits. Several food preservatives also trigger asthma. They may include sulfite additives such as potassium bisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, sodium sulfite, sodium bisulfate and many others. These are commonly used in food processing and trigger asthma in sensitive people.
Asthma induced by exercise
Strenuous exercise may lead to the narrowing of the airways in maximum people having asthma. Exercise acts as a primary trigger for asthma symptoms in many people. Patients having exercise induced asthma are likely to feel chest tightness accompanied by coughing and breathing difficulties after completing an aerobic workout session. Although the symptoms subside, they may reoccur within some hours. You should warm up properly and slowly before a rigorous workout session to prevent an asthma attack.
People who smoke are more likely to have asthma. If you have asthma and still smoke, the symptoms of wheezing and coughing worsen. Pregnant women who smoke increase the chance of wheezing in their to-be-born babies. You should absolutely quit smoking if you have asthma.
Infections which trigger asthma
Several infections such as cold, bronchitis, flu and sinus may cause asthma attacks. The respiratory infections, which are viral or bacterial, are a common cause and trigger asthma, especially in children. Asthma is also associated with severe heartburn. According to studies, more than 85% people with asthma also suffer from heartburn. This is a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.