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COPD - Can Oxygen Therapy Help Treat It?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Hemant Kalra 90% (436 ratings)
MBBS, MD -Pulmonary Medicine-Tuberculosis ,Respiratory Disease Medicine , Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD), European Diploma in Respiratory Medicine
Pulmonologist, Delhi  •  25 years experience
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!
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