Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of lung diseases that block the airflow and make breathing difficult. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most common conditions. In chronic bronchitis, the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes inflamed, while emphysema occurs when the air sacs (alveoli) at the end of the smallest air passages (bronchioles) in the lungs are gradually destroyed.


The main cause of COPD is smoking tobacco. However, it also often occurs in women exposed to smoke from burning fuel for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated homes. COPD has a dear cause and a dear path of prevention. The best way to prevent COPD is to never smoke or to stop smoking.

Risk factors

• Exposure to tobacco smoke

• A combination of asthma and smoking increases the risk of COPD.

 • Exposure to dust and chemicals


Symptoms

Shortness of breath (especially during physical activities), wheezing, tightness in the chest, need to clear the throat first thing in the morning (due to excess mucus in the lungs), a chronic cough that produces sputum, blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis), frequent respiratory infections, lack of energy and unintended weight loss

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Tips to feel and get better

• Clear the airways -  mucus tends to collect in the air passages and can be difficult to clear.   Controlled coughing & drinking plenty of water may help.


• Exercise regularly -  it may seem difficult if one has trouble breathing, but regular exercise improves the overall strength and endurance and strengthens the respiratory muscles.


• Eat healthy foods -  A healthy diet helps maintain strength.


• Lose excess weight - It can significantly help in breathing, especially during times of exertion.

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• Avoid smoking -  Smoking the main cause of many lung diseases. Avoid places where others smoke too, as secondhand smoke or passive smoking also causes lung damage.


• Keep the house dust-free; use a damp cloth instead of dry dusters as this prevents dust from spreading in the rooms.


• Occupational exposure to chemical fumes and dust is a risk factor for COPD. If working in such conditions, use respiratory protective equipment.


• Keep the kitchen ventilated while cooking; cooking gas contains carbon monoxide, which can damage the lungs and cause various health problems.