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Top Health Tips on Living with COPD

6 Myths And Facts About COPD!

MD - Internal Medicine, MBBS
Internal Medicine Specialist, Mumbai
6 Myths And Facts About COPD!
When it comes to COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, not many people are aware of this condition. COPD is a chronic medical condition characterized by the inflammation of lungs. The inflammation interferes with the functioning of the lungs resulting in breathing problems. An early diagnosis and timely medication can improve the condition to a great extent. However, lack of proper knowledge and myths surrounding COPD often make the situation worse. In this article, we will discuss some myths and facts related to COPD to help people understand the condition better.

Myth: COPD is an incurable chronic lung disease mainly affecting the aged people (above 60 years).
Fact: There is no denying the fact that COPD is indeed a chronic disorder that severely affects the lungs and its functioning. However, with timely diagnosis and treatment, the condition and the Specialdeleterious consequences can be managed and controlled significantly. Since COPD triggers breathing problems (the airflow from the lungs gets obstructed), the use of bronchodilators, oxygen therapy or corticosteroids can be highly beneficial. Though COPD is rare among young adults, the condition can affect people in their late 30's or early 40's as well.

Myth: COPD only affects people who smoke.
Fact: Smoking is one of the triggers for COPD, but the condition can also affect people who have never smoked in their lifetime. Factors such as neonatal chronic lung disease or prolonged exposure to substances that cause lung irritation and damage (toxic industrial fumes and chemicals) can play a pivotal role in triggering COPD. COPD can also be a genetic predisposition.

Myth: People with COPD should avoid exercise and physical activities.
Fact: Mild to moderate exercise (especially breathing exercise) are indeed helpful and go a long way in the effective management of COPD. Exercising regularly (for 20-30 minutes or as the doctorSpecial recommended) help to lower the blood pressure and improve the circulation that provides fruitful results for people with breathing problems. However, doctors do advise people with shortness of breath to avoid strenuous exercise.

Myth: COPD only affects the lungs.
Fact: With time and left unmanaged and untreated, COPD acts as a catalyst making a person more susceptible to heart ailments. In some cases, the condition can also trigger depression and anxiety.

Myth: In the case of COPD, giving up on smoking will not produce any positive results.
Fact: Giving up on smoking may not help to reverse the damage that has already been caused by COPD. However, quitting smoking along with proper medications and lifestyle changes does help to control the condition better. In some instances, there were also significant improvements in the associated symptoms (such as shortness of breath, fatigue, wheezing, a chronic cough).

Myth: COPD is another name for Asthma.
Fact: Many people confuse COPD with Asthma. Though some symptoms may appear identical (such as wheezing, shortness of breath), the conditions are different and so are their treatments.
6741 people found this helpful

COPD - Are You Aware Of These Myths & Facts?

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine Specialist, Delhi
COPD - Are You Aware Of These Myths & Facts?
When it comes to COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, not many people are aware of this condition. COPD is a chronic medical condition characterized by the inflammation of lungs. The inflammation interferes with the functioning of the lungs resulting in breathing problems. An early diagnosis and timely medication can improve the condition to a great extent. However, lack of proper knowledge and myths surrounding COPD often make the situation worse. In this article, we will discuss some myths and facts related to COPD to help people understand the condition better.

Myth: COPD is an incurable chronic lung disease mainly affecting the aged people (above 60 years).
Fact: There is no denying the fact that COPD is indeed a chronic disorder that severely affects the lungs and its functioning. However, with timely diagnosis and treatment, the condition and the deleterious consequences can be managed and controlled significantly. Since COPD triggers breathing problems (the airflow from the lungs gets obstructed), the use of bronchodilators, oxygen therapy or corticosteroids can be highly beneficial. Though COPD is rare among young adults, the condition can affect people in their late 30's or early 40's as well.

Myth: COPD only affects people who smoke.
Fact: Smoking is one of the triggers for COPD, but the condition can also affect people who have never smoked in their lifetime. Factors such as neonatal chronic lung disease or prolonged exposure to substances that cause lung irritation and damage (toxic industrial fumes and chemicals) can play a pivotal role in triggering COPD. COPD can also be a genetic predisposition.

Myth: People with COPD should avoid exercise and physical activities.
Fact: Mild to moderate exercise (especially breathing exercise) are indeed helpful and go a long way in the effective management of COPD. Exercising regularly (for 20-30 minutes or as the doctor recommended) help to lower the blood pressure and improve the circulation that provides fruitful results for people with breathing problems. However, doctors do advise people with shortness of breath to avoid strenuous exercise.

Myth: COPD only affects the lungs.
Fact: With time and left unmanaged and untreated, COPD acts as a catalyst making a person more susceptible to heart ailments. In some cases, the condition can also trigger depression and anxiety.

Myth: In the case of COPD, giving up on smoking will not produce any positive results.
Fact: Giving up on smoking may not help to reverse the damage that has already been caused by COPD. However, quitting smoking along with proper medications and lifestyle changes does help to control the condition better. In some instances, there were also significant improvements in the associated symptoms (such as shortness of breath, fatigue, wheezing, a chronic cough).

Myth: COPD is another name for Asthma.
Fact: Many people confuse COPD with Asthma. Though some symptoms may appear identical (such as wheezing, shortness of breath), the conditions are different and so are their treatments.
6427 people found this helpful

COPD - 6 Myths You Must Be Aware Of!

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Bangalore
COPD - 6 Myths You Must Be Aware Of!
When it comes to COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, not many people are aware of this condition. COPD is a chronic medical condition characterized by the inflammation of lungs. The inflammation interferes with the functioning of the lungs resulting in breathing problems. An early diagnosis and timely medication can improve the condition to a great extent. However, lack of proper knowledge and myths surrounding COPD often make the situation worse. In this article, we will discuss some myths and facts related to COPD to help people understand the condition better.

Myth: COPD is an incurable chronic lung disease mainly affecting the aged people (above 60 years).
Fact: There is no denying the fact that COPD is indeed a chronic disorder that severely affects the lungs and its functioning. However, with timely diagnosis and treatment, the condition and the deleterious consequences can be managed and controlled significantly. Since COPD triggers breathing problems (the airflow from the lungs gets obstructed), the use of bronchodilators, oxygen therapy or corticosteroids can be highly beneficial. Though COPD is rare among young adults, the condition can affect people in their late 30's or early 40's as well.

Myth: COPD only affects people who smoke.
Fact: Smoking is one of the triggers for COPD, but the condition can also affect people who have never smoked in their lifetime. Factors such as neonatal chronic lung disease or prolonged exposure to substances that cause lung irritation and damage (toxic industrial fumes and chemicals) can play a pivotal role in triggering COPD. COPD can also be a genetic predisposition.

Myth: People with COPD should avoid exercise and physical activities.
Fact: Mild to moderate exercise (especially breathing exercise) are indeed helpful and go a long way in the effective management of COPD. Exercising regularly (for 20-30 minutes or as the doctor recommended) help to lower the blood pressure and improve the circulation that provides fruitful results for people with breathing problems. However, doctors do advise people with shortness of breath to avoid strenuous exercise.

Myth: COPD only affects the lungs.
Fact: With time and left unmanaged and untreated, COPD acts as a catalyst making a person more susceptible to heart ailments. In some cases, the condition can also trigger depression and anxiety.

Myth: In the case of COPD, giving up on smoking will not produce any positive results.
Fact: Giving up on smoking may not help to reverse the damage that has already been caused by COPD. However, quitting smoking along with proper medications and lifestyle changes does help to control the condition better. In some instances, there were also significant improvements in the associated symptoms (such as shortness of breath, fatigue, wheezing, a chronic cough).

Myth: COPD is another name for Asthma.
Fact: Many people confuse COPD with Asthma. Though some symptoms may appear identical (such as wheezing, shortness of breath), the conditions are different and so are their treatments.
6418 people found this helpful

COPD: Causes and Symptoms

Multi Speciality Clinic
Multi Speciality, Gurgaon
COPD: Causes and Symptoms
COPD, short for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is an inflammatory disease of the lungs. The disease obstructs the flow of air in the lungs and subsequently causes difficulty in breathing. Prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke, gases or particulate matter can lead to this condition. The condition transcends all age brackets meaning it can affect anyone from young teenagers to aged adults. People who contract this disease are at an increased likelihood of developing cardiovascular conditions and lung diseases, in addition to a horde of other conditions.

Causes of COPD
1. The chief cause of COPD is smoking tobacco and being subjected to fumes from cooking and heating. A study estimated that in and around 25% of long-standing smokers develop symptoms of this condition. Yet, statistics show that COPD is often misdiagnosed until an elaborate evaluation is diagnosed.
2. Conditions like Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are also known to cause the disease. Your lungs depend on the intrinsic elasticity of the air sacs and bronchial tubes that help facilitate the passage of air through the lungs. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease causes these passages to lose their elasticity thus rendering them partially ineffective.

Symptoms of COPD
The symptoms of COPD do not appear until the lungs are significantly damaged and the condition tends to deteriorate if smoking persists. Apart from coughing and production of sputum, other apparent symptoms include:

Difficulty in breathing
Stiffness and tightness of chest
A persistent cough
Fatigue and weakness
Weight loss
Frequent allergic reactions of the respiratory glands
Along with the aforementioned symptoms, patients who are diagnosed with COPD are likely to experience bouts of exacerbation, during which their symptoms heighten and tend to grow worse for several days.
Although anyone can contract the condition, certain people are at an increased risk of condition. Such risk factors include:

Chronic smoking
A medical history of asthma
Exposure to chemicals and dusts
Weakening of the immune system with increasing age
Heredity
If you experience or entertain symptoms or suspicions of this disease, consulting a pulmonologist is duly advised.
6135 people found this helpful

Lung Rehabilitation - How Physiotherapy Can Help?

MSPT (Master of Physical Therapy)
Physiotherapist, Delhi
Lung Rehabilitation - How Physiotherapy Can Help?
The lungs are responsible for taking in and filtering out oxygen which is then supplied to the body via circulation. They are also responsible for removing the carbon dioxide from the body. This happens through breathing, and though no effort is required, when the function is impaired, the entire body system takes a toll.

Lung function can be impaired by a multitude of issues including infections like pneumonia, chronic diseases like COPD and pulmonary hypertension, heart conditions like a congestive failure, etc. While the acute cases would go off once the infection is treated, the long-term conditions are helped by physiotherapy in addition to medications.

The lungs are made up of elastic tubules and have the ability to hold secretions. Therefore training the lungs to improve their function via exercise can help improve overall lung function. Some of the routine exercises are simple ones as below.

Active breathing: The patient is taught to breathe in a more aware manner so that the lungs take in air to their maximum ability.
Postural drainage: The lungs are like containers for mucus, and over a period of time, they need to be drained. Depending on where the fluid accumulation is, the patient is taught to lie in various positions so that it can be drained, allowing for instant relief.
Nasal saline rinse: This helps in clearing the secretions and also the saline provides an antibacterial effect to clear off residual infection. Clearing sputum is highly critical for reducing chances of repeat infections and hospitalizations.
Peripheral and respiratory muscle training: Though it goes unnoticed, breathing also involves neck and shoulder muscles and strengthening these is also essential for effective breathing.
Multiple studies have shown that physiotherapy plays a vital role in lung rehabilitation. As noted above, while the benefit may be not very evident in short-term lung impairment, it makes a significant difference in long-term and chronic conditions like COPD, pulmonary hypertension, and even congestive heart failure. Lung rehab has shown to produce the following changes:

Reduce episodes of breathlessness and fatigue. A person can gradually resume his normal chores without too much assistance.
Help in clearing secretions, which can worsen congestion and breathlessness.
Increase overall quality of life. There could be even people who cannot do routine activities like walking to the bathroom. They could be benefitted with pulmonary rehabilitation.
Reduce the number of hospitalizations due to mucus accumulation and breathlessness.
Improve exercise tolerance. It is well known and proven that those who exercise on a regular basis can improve lung function over a period of time.
5903 people found this helpful

COPD - Forget The Myths & Know The Facts!

MD - General Medicine, CCEDM, Fellowship In Neurology & Stroke, Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes
Diabetologist, Navi Mumbai
COPD - Forget The Myths & Know The Facts!
When it comes to COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, not many people are aware of this condition. COPD is a chronic medical condition characterized by the inflammation of lungs. The inflammation interferes with the functioning of the lungs resulting in breathing problems. An early diagnosis and timely medication can improve the condition to a great extent. However, lack of proper knowledge and myths surrounding COPD often make the situation worse. In this article, we will discuss some myths and facts related to COPD to help people understand the condition better.

Myth: COPD is an incurable chronic lung disease mainly affecting the aged people (above 60 years).
Fact: There is no denying the fact that COPD is indeed a chronic disorder that severely affects the lungs and its functioning. However, with timely diagnosis and treatment, the condition and the deleterious consequences can be managed and controlled significantly. Since COPD triggers breathing problems (the airflow from the lungs gets obstructed), the use of bronchodilators, oxygen therapy or corticosteroids can be highly beneficial. Though COPD is rare among young adults, the condition can affect people in their late 30's or early 40's as well.

Myth: COPD only affects people who smoke.
Fact: Smoking is one of the triggers for COPD, but the condition can also affect people who have never smoked in their lifetime. Factors such as neonatal chronic lung disease or prolonged exposure to substances that cause lung irritation and damage (toxic industrial fumes and chemicals) can play a pivotal role in triggering COPD. COPD can also be a genetic predisposition.

Myth: People with COPD should avoid exercise and physical activities.
Fact: Mild to moderate exercise (especially breathing exercise) are indeed helpful and go a long way in the effective management of COPD. Exercising regularly (for 20-30 minutes or as the doctor recommended) help to lower the blood pressure and improve the circulation that provides fruitful results for people with breathing problems. However, doctors do advise people with shortness of breath to avoid strenuous exercise.

Myth: COPD only affects the lungs.
Fact: With time and left unmanaged and untreated, COPD acts as a catalyst making a person more susceptible to heart ailments. In some cases, the condition can also trigger depression and anxiety.

Myth: In the case of COPD, giving up on smoking will not produce any positive results.
Fact: Giving up on smoking may not help to reverse the damage that has already been caused by COPD. However, quitting smoking along with proper medications and lifestyle changes does help to control the condition better. In some instances, there were also significant improvements in the associated symptoms (such as shortness of breath, fatigue, wheezing, a chronic cough).

Myth: COPD is another name for Asthma.
Fact: Many people confuse COPD with Asthma. Though some symptoms may appear identical (such as wheezing, shortness of breath), the conditions are different and so are their treatments.
5684 people found this helpful

Pulmonary Rehabilitation For COPD & Asthma!

Physiotherapist, Hyderabad
Pulmonary Rehabilitation For COPD & Asthma!
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, abbreviated as COPD, is an umbrella term which refers to the group of lung infections and diseases that include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and diseases of the small airways. Most people feel breathlessness, which is caused due to impairment of gaseous exchange that happens because of prolonged damage to the lungs over a period of time.

Symptoms such as fatigue, reduced tolerance to exercise, muscular dysfunction, breathlessness even after simple tasks like walking, anxiety, panic, depression, and mood disorders are associated with major chronic disorders of the respiratory system.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation:

Physiotherapy is an effective intervention to treat patients suffering from COPD. It is the part of a formal supervised, multidisciplinary, and an intensive Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program that helps in treating manifestations of the conditions like COPD and Asthma. It consists of exercises to improve and maintain good lung capacity, resistance training, aerobic exercises, and support to behavioural and lifestyle changes for promoting self- efficacy. Your physiotherapist will choose from the different techniques and positions used to remove the unwanted excess sputum from the lungs and airways. The main purpose of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation is to help in improving the psychological and physical conditions of the pulmonary patients, along with training them for health enhancement techniques. Also, it should be noted that Pulmonary Rehabilitation is the cornerstone of care for patients suffering from COPD that uses integrated care by exploring underutilized opportunities.

Benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation:

There are well-researched evidences of the improvement in the capacity of exercising, less breathlessness and fatigue, better control over condition, and an overall improvement in the quality of life of the patients suffering from COPD and Asthma.

Also, undergoing Pulmonary Rehabilitation lowers the rate of admissions, and re-admissions in hospitals due to recurrence of the symptoms and the related conditions.

It has also been reported that if Pulmonary Rehabilitation is properly undertaken, there is nearly no need for systematic health review to check COPD.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation, being a comprehensive program, helps in restoring fitness and easy breathing through breathing techniques, nutrition, exercise, relaxation, emotional support, medications, self-management, and other strategies for a better life, mainly by helping the lungs and the heart to function better.

How It Works?

Exercise is the key to any Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program for helping the lungs and the heart to function better and adjust to the condition. Some of the following exercises can be recommended based on the medical history of the patient:

1. Lower Body Exercise focuses on the workout of legs via running on a treadmill or climbing the staircase for rigorous training.

2. Upper Body Exercise includes working up the muscles of the arm and the chest by tasks as simple as lifting arms against gravity.

3. Breathing Exercise helps people with weak breathing and increasing their breathing and lung capacity.

4. Strength Training helps in building endurance and better stamina through activities like weight-lifting.

Other than exercise, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program focusses on helping patients build an understanding of their situation and amend their lifestyles accordingly. This includes helping them understand their medication plan, teaching them to use their inhalers right, quitting smoking, consuming a healthy and balanced diet, and other methods as may be suitable based on their specific condition. Also, they are made aware of their symptoms so that if there is any recurrence, it can be immediately reported to the concerned health professional. They are trained through counseling to manage and deal with panic, anxiety, and depression caused due to their condition.

Take Away: Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is an effective intervention and the cornerstone of care for improving the psychological and physical conditions of the pulmonary patients, along with training them for health enhancement techniques. It helps in treating manifestations of the conditions like COPD and Asthma.
5646 people found this helpful

Pulmonary Rehabilitation - How Physiotherapy Can Help?

MSPT (Master of Physical Therapy)
Physiotherapist, Delhi
Pulmonary Rehabilitation - How Physiotherapy Can Help?
Seeing someone who used to do all their activities on their own turn to someone who needs help even with small things like going to the bathroom can be very difficult.

The lungs are vital organs in that they are essential to supply oxygen to the entire body. If the various organs do not receive adequate oxygen, their function can be impaired. Therefore, lung function needs to be maintained. Lung function can be impaired by chronic conditions like COPD and bronchiectasis. In both these, the overall ability of the lungs to take in adequate oxygen is reduced. Therefore, the lungs need to be rehabilitated so that they can improve their ability to function better. These exercises are aimed at the following:

Improve ability to breathe effectively
Reduce episodes of breathlessness
Reduce the number of hospitalizations required to clear sputum and infections
Improve ability to perform small, routine chores on their own
Improve exercise tolerance over a period of time
Improve overall quality of life
Reduce morbidity and mortality rates
It has been proven beyond doubt that in addition to medications, physiotherapy plays a vital role in improving lung function over a period of time. Depending on the actual condition of the patient, a physiotherapy program is drawn up. Initially, the therapist will guide the patient and/or the caretaker with the various exercises. Over a period of time, the caretaker and the patient can do these on their own. The intent of these common exercises is to improve breathing efficiency, clear mucus, and improve overall lung function.

Active breathing techniques (ABT) We all know that breathing is involuntary; however, making an effort to consciously breathe can improve the efficiency. More oxygen is taken in and sent to the various organs, thereby rejuvenating the entire body.
Postural drainage: With any chronic lung condition, sputum or mucus tends to accumulate in various parts of the lungs. If not drained, it can attract more bacteria and cause infection. The patient is made to lie in various positions so that different parts of the lungs are drained, aided by gravity. This is highly effective in clearing secretions.
Pursed lip breathing: Inhaling through the nose and letting the air out through the mouth like how a candle is blown helps improve lung function.
Forced coughing: A person is taught to induce coughing so that secretions are cleared out, thereby reducing chances of infection. Inhale as usual to the full capacity and exhale in coughing spurts.
It has been proven beyond doubt that with no side effects (unlike medications), physiotherapy improves the overall quality of life in people with COPD.
5534 people found this helpful

COPD - How To Track It?

Multi Speciality, Navi Mumbai
COPD - How To Track It?
COPD, short for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is an inflammatory disease of the lungs. The disease obstructs the flow of air in the lungs and subsequently causes difficulty in breathing. Prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke, gases or particulate matter can lead to this condition. The condition transcends all age brackets meaning it can affect anyone from young teenagers to aged adults. People who contract this disease are at an increased likelihood of developing cardiovascular conditions and lung diseases, in addition to a horde of other conditions.

Causes of COPD

1. The chief cause of COPD is smoking tobacco and being subjected to fumes from cooking and heating. A study estimated that in and around 25% of long-standing smokers develop symptoms of this condition. Yet, statistics show that COPD is often misdiagnosed until an elaborate evaluation is diagnosed.

2. Conditions like Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are also known to cause the disease. Your lungs depend on the intrinsic elasticity of the air sacs and bronchial tubes that help facilitate the passage of air through the lungs. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease causes these passages to lose their elasticity thus rendering them partially ineffective.

Symptoms of COPD

The symptoms of COPD do not appear until the lungs are significantly damaged and the condition tends to deteriorate if smoking persists. Apart from coughing and production of sputum, other apparent symptoms include:

1) Difficulty in breathing
2) Stiffness and tightness of chest
3) A persistent cough
4) Fatigue and weakness
5) Weight loss
6) Frequent allergic reactions of the respiratory glands

Along with the aforementioned symptoms, patients who are diagnosed with COPD are likely to experience bouts of exacerbation, during which their symptoms heighten and tend to grow worse for several days.
Although anyone can contract the condition, certain people are at an increased risk of condition. Such risk factors include:

a) Chronic smoking
b) A medical history of asthma
c) Exposure to chemicals and dusts
d) Weakening of the immune system with increasing age
e) Heredity

If you experience or entertain symptoms or suspicions of this disease, consulting a pulmonologist is duly advised.
5241 people found this helpful

COPD - Know The Causes & Symptoms Of It!

Multi Speciality, Pune
COPD - Know The Causes & Symptoms Of It!
COPD, short for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is an inflammatory disease of the lungs. The disease obstructs the flow of air in the lungs and subsequently causes difficulty in breathing. Prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke, gases or particulate matter can lead to this condition. The condition transcends all age brackets meaning it can affect anyone from young teenagers to aged adults. People who contract this disease are at an increased likelihood of developing cardiovascular conditions and lung diseases, in addition to a horde of other conditions.

Causes of COPD:

1. The chief cause of COPD is smoking tobacco and being subjected to fumes from cooking and heating. A study estimated that in and around 25% of long-standing smokers develop symptoms of this condition. Yet, statistics show that COPD is often misdiagnosed until an elaborate evaluation is diagnosed.
2. Conditions like Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are also known to cause the disease. Your lungs depend on the intrinsic elasticity of the air sacs and bronchial tubes that help facilitate the passage of air through the lungs. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease causes these passages to lose their elasticity thus rendering them partially ineffective.

Symptoms of COPD:

The symptoms of COPD do not appear until the lungs are significantly damaged and the condition tends to deteriorate if smoking persists. Apart from coughingand production of sputum, other apparent symptoms include:

Difficulty in breathing
Stiffness and tightness of chest
A persistent cough
Fatigue and weakness
Weight loss
Frequent allergic reactions of the respiratory glands
Along with the aforementioned symptoms, patients who are diagnosed with COPD are likely to experience bouts of exacerbation, during which their symptoms heighten and tend to grow worse for several days.
Although anyone can contract the condition, certain people are at an increased risk of condition. Such risk factors include:

Chronic smoking
A medical history of asthma
Exposure to chemicals and dusts
Weakening of the immune system with increasing age
Heredity
4994 people found this helpful