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Overview

Copd - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

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.

Symptoms :

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.

Treatment :

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

Lung or Pulmonary Diseases: What You Need To Know?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma In HIV, DNB - Respiratory Diseases, V P Chest Delhi
Pulmonologist, Pune
Lung or Pulmonary Diseases: What You Need To Know?

Pulmonary diseases are some of the most commonly experienced health conditions all over the world. Millions of people suffer due to various causes including genetics, smoking, pollutants and infection. Now lungs are one of the most important and complex organs of the body. They are the apparatus through which oxygen enters and carbon dioxide gets expelled.

Lungs expand and contract on a constant basis to ensure that we can breathe properly. Let us find out more about lung or pulmonary diseases.

  1. Asthma: This is one of the most common and potentially fatal conditions that affect children and adults. It grips the airways formed by the bronchi which branch off into smaller tubes from the main trachea that holds them. This condition causes inflammation, and even spasms, which can lead to wheezing and breathlessness. The main triggers of asthma attacks include allergies, infections and pollutants that may escape into the airways.
  2. COPD: This is also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. It is an umbrella term used for various lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties due to an obstruction of the airways. Chronic bronchitis is one of the conditions that falls under COPD, and is usually characterised by persistent, hacking coughs.
  3. Cystic Fibrosis: This is another condition that affects the airways by causing poor passage of mucus from the bronchial tubes. This condition is a genetic one where the mucus that gathers eventually becomes a lung infection.
  4. Pneumonia: This is a condition that causes an infection in the alveoli, which are the tiny tubes that the airways branch into. These are air sacs that can catch myriad infections like pneumonia.
  5. Tuberculosis: This is also a kind of pneumonia, which is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. This condition usually attacks the air sacs of the lungs and can be a potentially fatal disease if it is not treated on time. The patient will require immediate hospitalisation.
  6. Pulmonary Edema: This condition is caused by fluid leaks from the tiny blood vessels into the surrounding air sacs within the lungs. It can also be caused due to heart failure as well as back pressure which falls on the lungs. Direct injury to the lungs can also lead to this condition.
  7. Lung Cancer: This is a fatal disease which can be found in any part of the lungs. It has many forms and the type as well as the location usually determines the kind of treatment option that will be followed.
  8. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: When the lungs suffer a sudden injury which is usually caused by a bout of serious illness, it is called ARDS. Treatment involves the use of life support ventilation.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3167 people found this helpful

Good Habits Great Benefits

DNB(Respiratory Diseases), MBBS
Pulmonologist, Jabalpur
Good Habits Great Benefits

Taking Inhalers regularly on time is a good habit which can give tremendous benefits to patients of COPD and Asthma.

1 person found this helpful

COPD - Can Oxygen Therapy Help Treat It?

MBBS, MD -Pulmonary Medicine-Tuberculosis ,Respiratory Disease Medicine , Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD), European Diploma in Respiratory Medicine
Pulmonologist, Delhi
COPD - Can Oxygen Therapy Help Treat It?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a group of progressive lung diseases. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the most common lung diseases. Emphysema gradually ruins the air sacs in your lungs, which are interfered with exhalation. The inflammation and swelling of airways in the lungs is called bronchitis, which further allows production of mucus, which leads to increased difficulty in breathing.

COPD is a case which makes it harder to breathe. The symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath are light at first. With passage of time, these symptoms worsen and make it increasingly difficult for the patient to breathe.

The patient may experience wheezing and feel heavy on the chest. Some patients suffering from COPD experience flare-ups of severe symptoms or exacerbations.
The main cause of COPD is ciigarette smoking and therefore, people who are used to smoking for a longer time may suffer from this diesease. It is a disease that takes time to build up inside one’s body. COPD can further cause heart problems and worsen respiratory diseases.

Severe symptoms of COPD include:

  1. Occasional shortness of breath
  2. Mild and reoccurring cough with mucus
  3. Constant need to clear your throat
  4. Noisy breathing
  5. Frequent cold and cough
  6. Loss of energy or feeling fatigued
  7. Swelling of ankles, legs or feet
  8. Sudden weight loss

Treatment of COPD
The treatment of COPD can ease its symptoms and avoid further complications. To treat COPD, one needs a skillful and experienced pulmonologist and respiratory therapist.

  • The medications which are preferred by the doctor are bronchodilators, which soothe the muscles of bronchial tubes, making it easier for the patient to breathe. This medicine is basically taken from inhalers. To reduce the inflammation, Glucocortico steroids are added.
  • Oxygen therapy is undertaken to provide oxygen to the patient through an oxygen mask or nasal prongs to ease the breathing process of the patient. A portable unit is advised, if the patient is cured at home.
  • Surgery is an option for severe COPD patients, which is undertaken if and only all other medications have already failed to control COPD, which can be the case in emphysema. Bullectomy is a kind of surgery in which the doctors eliminate the large bullae (air sacs) from the lungs. Volume reduction surgery is the last option for the doctor to cure a COPD patient. In this process, the damaged lung tissue is removed. The doctors go for a lung transplant in some rare cases of COPD.
  • The treatment for many diseases is a healthy and disciplined lifestyle. One should quit smoking and get the nutrition that their body needs. People should consult a dietician and get a healthy diet plan, and ask a doctor about the extent of exercise they should perform daily. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
2037 people found this helpful

Common Disease Of Lung

MD - Medicine, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Pune

COPD- Second largest killer in India.Treatable and preventable disease of lungs. Common in smokers and in non smokers who use chullahs for cooking, pollution. And symptoms are- progressive increase in breathlessnes and cough with sputum. Simple test to diagnose this dreaded disease is PFT, not a costly test. Consult specialist in chest medicine. 

1 person found this helpful

Pulmonary Function Tests - Why Is It Required?

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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

  1. Total Lung Capacity – the amount of air present in the lungs after breathing in deeply
  2. Forced Vital Capacity – the amount of air that can be exhaled after breathing in deeply
  3. Minute Volume – the amount of air exhaled per minute
  4. Vital Capacity – the total volume of air that can be breathed out after inhaling as much as possible
  5. Tidal Volume – the amount of air inhaled or exhaled when breathing normally
  6. Maximum voluntary ventilation – the amount of air that can be inhaled and exhaled in one minute
  7. Functional Residual Capacity – the amount of air that remains in the lungs when breathing normally
  8. Forced Expiratory Flow – the flow or volume of air during an exhalation
  9. 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. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4505 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hello Doctor .My mother is copd patient she is on oxygen and Bipap from last 8 yrs. She take nublizing 5 a day .from last 1 to 2 months she does do not any daily work when she try to something she feels rest and breathless. Please advice.

MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Mumbai
She is doing well Make sure she works with oxygen And by work it means only activities of daily living She needs to be enrolled in pulmonary rehabilitation with regular chest and limb physiotherapy. If you need further assistance visit us.

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.

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?

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