A Glimpse Into COPD

A Glimpse Into COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung condition that involves emphysema, damage to the air sacs, chronic bronchitis and long-term inflammation of airways. COPD is a significant health burden that causes breathing problems for patients, of which there are currently more than 300 million worldwide. It is the third leading cause of death in the world, mostly affecting elderly patients and causing a high rate of hospitilzation for those over 65. COPD is mainly caused by smoking, however, some people that have never smoked can be affected as well. Treatments mainly focus on the prevention of exacerbation.

The most common symptoms of COPD include

  • Breathlessness,
  • Frequent chest infections, and
  • Persistent chesty cough with phlegm.

Although treatments used for COPD cannot repair the lungs, they can slow down its progression. Some forms of treatment are:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Inhalers and medications
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Surgery

Statistics describing COPD patients

  • 51% are limited in their ability to function at work,
  • 70% have limited physical activity,
  • 56% believe household chores are a burden,
  • 50% have trouble sleeping.

As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, take a look at the British Lung Foundation’s article, “What should I do if I have COPD?”, for better management of COPD.

Inform yourself: Here are some recent publications about COPD

To learn more about COPD management

Sources


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