I am Dr. Kamleshkumar Pandey, Pulmonologist. Today I would like to talk about COPD. It is a common preventable and treatable disease which is a very common cause of modality and morbidity in our country. Now, we need to understand which patients are at the risk of COPD. Now, patients who have the risk of exposure to smoke, biomass fuel exposure and industrial pollutant exposure for a prolonged period of time. These patients are at high risk of COPD. If these patients have symptoms of chronic cough and breathlessness then they should get evaluated with spirometry. It is a simple blowing test which will help us in understanding first the diagnosis of COPD, the severity of the COPD, to access the response of the treatment. So, these patients need to undergo this test for the early diagnosis and management of COPD.
Next is we have to identify and eliminate risk factors. Many times, patients say that we already have smoked for so many years now what is the point of stopping smoking. But it is never too late to give up smoking. It is always beneficial to quit smoking at any given point in time. Patients who have industrial exposure can use mask or barrier method to avoid the exposure. Women who have the problem with cooking gas, they can convert into LPG. Next important point is to take inhalers regularly and learn the right technique to use inhalers. Many times patients have used inhalers incorrectly. They need to learn the right technique of using inhalers. Next important point is to exercise regularly. As COPD patients are very breathless, they do not prefer to do any sort of physical activity. Since they avoid the same, their muscles get further weak and these muscles need more oxygen for the efficiency.
So, we have to break this vicious cycle for not doing exercises. The patient can do simple walking 10-20 mins. That is the good form of rehabilitation. Also, patients should go proper pulmonary rehabilitations ate the centres. Next is how to prevent this problem? We need to vaccinate. Flu and pneumonia vaccination should be given to all COPD patients to prevent it. Because preventions have shown that patients improve quality of life as well as reducing the cost of COPD. Lastly, I want to say that COPD is not the death sentence.