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Overview

Copd - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is the name of a group of progressive lung diseases. The most common illnesses that are associated with COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Sometimes, one person can be affected with both these diseases.

Emphysema is an illness that gradually destroys the air sack in the pulmonary system, which cause difficulty with the outward airflow from the lungs. Bronchitis on the other hand is an illness that causes narrowing and inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which allows mucus to build up in the airway.

COPD patients often find it’s harder to breath. Although the symptoms of COPD may be mild in the beginning with just coughing and shortness of breath, but as the disease progresses patients suffering from COPD find increasing difficulty in breathing.

Patients affected by this malady experience tightness in their chest along with symptoms like wheezing.

One of the major reasons for developing this disease is smoking. Prolonged exposure to chemical irritants and other harmful external agents like toxic gases can also lead to COPD. Nevertheless, COPD is an ailment that takes pretty long to develop in the patients suffering from this acute respiratory malady.

Diagnosis of COPD is usually done by imaging, blood tests and also LFT (lung Function Test).

There is hardly any cure for this disease. But there are certain treatments that can help to ease the symptoms of this illness and lowers the chances of complications which in turn generally improves the quality of life of the COPD patients. However, it must be also remembered, if left untreated COPD can lead to severe heart ailments and also worsening respiratory infections in the patients. There are several people all across the globe, who in spite of having this disease are unaware of its presence in their body. To slow the progress of this disease, it’s best to consult a pulmonologist (lung specialist) or a respiratory therapist. Medications that helps in relaxing the muscles of the airway, such as bronchodilators are generally prescribed to the patients suffering from this disease. Bronchodilator medicines are usually inhaled. Glucocorticosteroids are also at times prescribed to the patients for reducing inflammation in their airway tract. Other than these oxygen therapy is also recommended to the patients along with pneumococcal vaccine and an annual dose of flu shots.

When medicines fails to bring comfort in some of the COPD patients, surgery is performed in severe COPD cases, when all other treatments have failed. Surgery like bellectomy is mostly done on COPD patients when they develop a condition known as emphysema, which absolutely destroys the patient’s air sacs.

Can't be cured, but treatment helps Require medical diagnosis Lab test required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
Symptoms
Shortness of breath. Wheezing or a chronic cough. Tightness in the chest.

Popular Health Tips

Pulmonary Function Tests - Why Is It Required?

Dr. Mool Chand Gupta 92% (33895 ratings)
MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Pulmonary Function Tests - Why Is It Required?
Pulmonary Function Tests or PFTs are a set of tests that are used to determine, measure or observe the functioning of the lungs. The most common pulmonary function tests used are spirometry, gas diffusion, and lung plethysmography. Highlights of pulmonary function tests A spirometry test is used to measure the amount of air inhaled and exhaled. It also measures the amount of time taken to complete a respiration cycle. A lung plethysmography measures the amount of air in the lungs after the patient has taken a deep breath. It also measures the amount of air that remains in the lungs after the patient has exhaled as much air as possible. What does a Pulmonary Function Test measure? Pulmonary function tests would not only check how well the person is breathing but also how effectively the lungs are able to conduct oxygen to the rest of the body. In addition to air flow, these tests would measure the size and volume of the lung and lung diffusion. These tests can also be used to measure Total Lung Capacity the amount of air present in the lungs after breathing in deeply Forced Vital Capacity the amount of air that can be exhaled after breathing in deeply Minute Volume the amount of air exhaled per minute Vital Capacity the total volume of air that can be breathed out after inhaling as much as possible Tidal Volume the amount of air inhaled or exhaled when breathing normally Maximum voluntary ventilation the amount of air that can be inhaled and exhaled in one minute Functional Residual Capacity the amount of air that remains in the lungs when breathing normally Forced Expiratory Flow the flow or volume of air during an exhalation Peak Expiratory Flow Rate the rate at which a person can exhale When are Pulmonary Function Tests recommended? A physician might recommend a patient undergo a PFT as part of a routine physical check-up. This test would be advised if the patient is experiencing any symptoms associated with lung problems or disorders such as asthma, respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD. A doctor would also use these tests to monitor and check whether a certain treatment prescribed for a lung disease or condition is working effectively. Pulmonary function tests are safe as they are non-invasive but it is important to follow the instructions of the doctor or technician before, after and during the test. It is important to make your doctor aware of any surgeries, respiratory infections, chest pains or heart attacks that you might have experienced before the test. If you are taking any medications you might need to follow the advice of the doctor as to whether you can take them before the test. Your doctor would also advice you on how to prepare for the test such as not eating a large meal, avoiding caffeine and wearing loose-fitting clothes. If you have any doubts, concerns or queries discuss them with your doctor.
7 people found this helpful

Best Diet For People Suffering From COPD!

Dr. Mool Chand Gupta 92% (33895 ratings)
MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Best Diet For People Suffering From COPD!
One of the best and easiest ways to manage the symptoms of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is through a healthy and nutrient dense diet. This would not only help you to not only keep the severity of the symptoms in check but also to maintain a healthy weight. Tips to keep in mind when choosing a diet Managing Weight: It is essential for patients with COPD to manage their weight. The symptom of breathlessness could be more severe if you are overweight. You might feel fatigued and tired if you are underweight. Therefore it is crucial to monitor your calorie intake and therefore also your weight as recommended by the American Lung Association. Balanced Diet: It is essential for patients with COPD to eat a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet. One that is varied and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats or proteins according to a study published in the August 2014 issue of the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. A well-balanced diet will ensure that you get all the necessary vitamins such as C, E, and D that are necessary to help you cope with this condition. Protein: Lean proteins such as eggs, meat, poultry, nuts, beans, and fish especially oily fish such as mackerel and sardines, should be incorporated into your meal plan. These proteins are necessary for patients with COPD especially if they are managing their condition through exercise. Carbohydrates and food high in fibre such as lentils, oats, and beans will improve the functioning of the digestive system. Potassium: Fruits and vegetables such as beets, potatoes, bananas are especially beneficial in preventing water retention in patients Foods To Limit Or Avoid People react differently to foods, there are some foods that patients with COPD should limit or avoid but if they do not seem to have an impact on your symptoms you can make them a part of your meal plan. Limiting salt intake irrespective of whether you are a COPD patient or not is always a good step to take. But if you are a COPD patient excessive salt in your diet could cause fluid retention which could worsen your shortness of breath. Dairy products such as milk and cheese can irritate the respiratory pathways making phlegm thicker. Certain fruits and vegetables such as apples, cabbage, stone fruits such as peaches and soybeans can cause gas and bloating. Caffeine in coffee and chocolate could interfere with certain medications that you have been prescribed. Confirm with your doctor if you can still include them in your diet. Patients with COPD need to drink plenty of fluids and it might be beneficial to opt for non-caffeinated beverages. Fried, greasy and spicy food can cause gas and indigestion which can affect breathing. Discuss your diet with your doctor or ask for a recommendation of a nutritionist who would help you to work out a meal or diet plan best suited for your condition.
5 people found this helpful

COPD - Are You Aware Of These Myths & Facts?

Dr. Virendra Kumar Raju 91% (10 ratings)
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.
6421 people found this helpful

Hyperventilation - How COPD Patients Can Deal With It?

Dr. Mool Chand Gupta 92% (33895 ratings)
MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Hyperventilation - How COPD Patients Can Deal With It?
A discomfort in chest accompanied by shortness of breath and a tingling sensation in fingers or toes might be a sign of hyperventilation, more commonly known as panic attacks. This is the condition wherein you need more amount of oxygen than normal. And, you need to be aware of the symptom, especially if you are suffering from COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). With COPD, experiencing symptoms of hyperventilation may turn adverse, and there are enough reasons to know the ways to manage it, which is indeed possible. Symptoms Hyperventilating or over-breathing can be accompanied by or can cause various symptoms in people. Apart from the common symptoms described above, some patients may also experience dizziness, palpitations, sweating profusely, wheeze, feelings of suffocation or choking, tinnitus, weakness, etc. Some may also feel highly anxious or tensed. Though very uncommon, still, one may suffer from loss of consciousness as a result of hyperventilating. Dealing with hyperventilation Depending on the severity and type of hyperventilation, the available treatment option may vary from person to person. From various home remedies to certain prescribed drugs, treatments are available easily. However, it s through practicing a few techniques on noticing the symptoms that can help one deal with hyperventilation. Some of those useful methods are, breathing through pursed lips, holding the breath for 10 to 15 seconds, trying to take deep breaths into the belly rather than in the chest and breathing slowly into cupped hands or a paper bag. These techniques will help regulate the breathing. Preventing hyperventilation As with many conditions, being aware of the preventive measures is crucial to managing the symptoms and the same is true with hyperventilation as well. A few measures to follow by COPD patients to prevent hyperventilation Wearing tight fitting clothes restrict normal breathing. Therefore, wearing clothes that are loose on the upper chest portion can assist in preventing over breathing. Opting for light exercises regularly (approved by the doctors, as having COPD needs extra attention in activities) helps in reducing stress levels and anxiety, which again can play a crucial role in preventing hyperventilating. Though initially, it may be difficult, still, one must try to breathe through his or her nose and close the mouth for preventing over-breathing, as closed mouth makes it extremely difficult to hyperventilate. Further, sleeping well during the night, eating a balanced diet, reducing the intake of caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee, and practicing various techniques for relaxation can be helpful too in preventing hyperventilation. In case, the episodes of hyperventilation last for more than 30 minutes, even after trying all the techniques mentioned above, one should not delay in seeking necessary medical attention. Growing episodes of hyperventilation or over-breathing can leave one feeling breathless. Therefore, when people with COPD notice any symptom of hyperventilation, consulting with pulmonology specialist must be of top priority. Neglecting this particular condition for an extended period may end up causing further complications.
3945 people found this helpful

Tips To Prevent COPD From Worsening!

Dr. Arun Madan 86% (28 ratings)
MD , MBBS
Pulmonologist, Delhi
Tips To Prevent COPD From Worsening!
COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is generally used to describe a broad category of diseases. These include chronic bronchitis, emphysema, non-reversible asthma as well as some forms of bronchiectasis. All of these diseases, however, can be prevented from getting worse by taking similar measures as the causes of these diseases are very similar. Here are the ways to prevent COPD exacerbations: Cleanliness: It is crucial that you do not allow infections to set in. Infections are probably the worst type of exacerbation possible in COPD. All you need to do to prevent infection is to take a little care to ensure good hygiene. Wash your hands often and do not allow people with colds or flu to come close to you. Take vaccines: Make sure your flu and pneumonia shots have not been missed. Take medicines: It is crucial that medicines for your lungs are taken on schedule, if you have COPD. The possible medicines which you could take if your doctor prescribes it includes inhaled beta-agonists, steroids and anticholinergics. Spirometry: Doctors often recommend the use of the portable Spirometry device, Spirometer, in case of COPD. Spirometers check the condition of the lungs by measuring various parameters to see how well the lungs are working. Spirometers can easily measure FEV1, a parameter which measures how much air can you blow out in one second. This is especially great if you do not know whether your condition has exacerbated or not. Corticosteroid: It is another type of medicine used, which can prevent COPD exacerbations. In its place, even inhaled beta-agonists or anticholinergics can also be used.
2621 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My mother is 49 years old and she had tb 2 times earlier in her life, now she is a COPD patient and is admitted in a ICU in a hospital and doctors have done Tracheostomy but now yesterday she had fever and doctors are saying she might be having TB again. What are the chances of her survival? Is she at high risk or it can be cured.

Dr. Gaurav Ghatawat 90% (71 ratings)
DNB
Pulmonologist, Mumbai
Certainly she is at risk however you can't just put down to 1 disease in this state. There could be an infection in the lungs and pneumonia Could be due to any bacteria. May not be TB only.
1 person found this helpful

Doctor, Which is best among Maxiflo 250 Rotacaps/ Revolizer & Maxiflo 250 Inhaler?

Dr. Mool Chand Gupta 92% (33895 ratings)
MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Both are same, one take any one with which the patient is comfortable. Rtacaps need more force/lung power to inhale and if your inspiratory capacity is less then inhalar will be better.
5 people found this helpful

If someone say that your lungs efficiency is 40%. What does that means? Is it a obstructive disorder or restrictive disorder?

M.B.B.S, MD - General Medicine
Internal Medicine Specialist, Kolkata
Pulmonary function test is used to detect different respiratory disorders. What we measure through this test is certain parameter like FEV1, FVC, PEFR FEV1/FVC etc. Now, by 40%,if you mean FEV1/FVC is 40% of predicted, then it is obstructive airway disease like COPD. But another parameter is there which is bronchodilator reversibility. It is used to differentiate between asthma and COPD. Lastly, in restrictive disease like interstitial lung diseases, the above mentioned parameter is usually normal.
1 person found this helpful

My child is suffering from copd from last 2 years, now he is 6 years old, somebody recommends seroflo 125 to avoid copd/asthma as he has to do nebulizer every week .kindly suggest seroflo 125 is safe or not.

Dr. Mool Chand Gupta 92% (33895 ratings)
MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
A 2 year child will not have copd. Can be asthma. Do not go by advise of somebody for your child. Consult a child specialist to confirm asthma.

Health Quizzes

COPD - How To Get Relief?

Dr. Rajesh Swarnakar 84% (10 ratings)
Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD), Board Certified in Pulmonary Medicine, FCCP - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Nagpur
Cigarette smoking is the greatest risk factor for the disease that has no cure, COPD. True or false. Take this quiz to know now.
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23 people took this quiz

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