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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

A chronic and progressive lung disorder characterized by the loss of elasticity of the bronchial tree and the air sacs, destruction of the air sacs wall, thickening of the bronchial wall, and mucous accumulation in the bronchial tree. The pathologic changes result in the disruption of the air flow in the bronchial airways. Signs and symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, productive cough, and chest tightness. The two main types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are chronic obstructive bronchitis and emphysema.

Symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The following features are indicative of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • chest tightness
  • mucus production
  • cold
  • flu
  • swelling in the ankles, feet, or legs
  • weight loss
  • lower muscle endurance
  • blueness of the lips or fingernail beds
  • fast heartbeat
It is possible that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The following are the most common causes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
  • cigarette smoking
  • long-term exposure to lung irritants
  • tobacco smoking
  • genetic factors
  • environmental factors

Risk Factors for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
  • smoking
  • family history
  • long-term exposure to other lung irritants
  • genetic condition

Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid smoking
  • avoid lung irritants

Occurrence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged > 40 years

Common Gender

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
  • Spirometry: To measures the amount of airflow obstruction present
  • Lung function tests: To measure the amount of air inhaled and exhaled
  • Chest x-ray: To view the signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Arterial blood gas test: To calculate the oxygen level in the blood

Doctor for Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
  • Pulmonary specialists
  • Physician

Complications of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease if untreated

Yes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is left untreated:
  • difficulty in walking
  • unable to work
  • memory loss
  • chronic diseases
  • depression
  • mental conditions
  • respiratory infections
  • heart problems
  • lung cancer

Procedures for Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The following procedures are used to treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
  • Oxygen therapy: To improve quality of life and only COPD therapy proven to extend life
  • Surgery: To remove small wedges of damaged lung tissue from the upper lungs and to remove bullae from the lungs that improves airflow
  • Lung transplant: To improve ability to breathe and to be active

Medicines for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Below is the list of medicines used for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:

Self-care for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
  • Control breathing: Helps breathing more efficiently throughout the day
  • Eat healthy foods: To help maintain strength
  • Avoid smoke and air pollution: To protect lungs from further damage

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
  • Physical activity: By doing exercise regularly, strengthen respiratory muscles and improves strength and endurance

Patient Support for Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The following actions may help Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease patients:
  • Family support: Sharing fears and feelings helps reduce stress
  • Join support group: Helps relieve stress

Time for Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

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