Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD, is a protracted inflammatory ailment of the lungs which brings about a restriction in flow of air from the lungs. While there are two key forms of COPD, namely chronic bronchitis and emphysema, majority of the people suffering from COPD have a combination of the two conditions. COPD also matures very slowly over the course of several years, so it’s possible to be unaware of its existence at first. Studies have been carried out and the information is readily available at places such as Hunterdon Pulmonary and Sleep Center Flemigton.
Causes of Pulmonary Disease
There are many well-known causes of pulmonary disease, and there are also some rare and very uncommon biological conditions can lead to the incidence of COPD.
Smoking, tobacco smoking to be precise, has been identified as the key cause of COPD. A person’s chances of developing COPD become increased the more he smokes. It should be noted, however, that only 20 to 30 percent of regular smokers may get COPD.
Exposure to smoke:
Secondhand smoke, air pollution, smoke from cigars and pipes, and exposure to dust, fumes or smoke at the workplace are other irritants that can lead to COPD.
A very rare cause of COPD (in about 1 percent of sufferers) is the insufficiency of the Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAt) protein. It’s produced in the liver and discharged into the bloodstream to aid in the protection of the lungs. When there’s a deficiency of this protein, it can result in COPD, even in non-smokers.
Some risk factors for COPD include smoking when you have asthma, and workplace contact with chemicals and dust.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pulmonary Disease?
Unfortunately, symptoms of COPD don’t usually surface until substantial damage has been done to your lungs. When they start to appear, they remain recurrent for a long period of time, and then gradually become worse. Please call Hunterdon Sleep Center Flemington for more info on this.
Chronic Cough With Sputum Production:
The first noticeable is a chronic cough. When you have a cough that’s been persistent for almost four months per year for about three years, it’s a sign of bronchitis, a condition that occurs before the onset of COPD. This cough is usually accompanied by sputum (mucus).
Shortness of Breath:
The most common symptom that troubles people is shortness of breath. It occurs mostly after sufferers of COPD exert themselves, and it gets worse as time goes by. In more developed stages, sufferers experience shortness of breath almost every time, even when they are resting. It leads to anxiety in a lot of people with COPD.
After a while, shortness of breath, cough and sputum production become amplified, and the color of the sputum becomes green or yellow, a change from the usual clear. This is referred to as an acute exacerbation of COPD. When experiencing a period of exacerbation, it’s possible to hear crackles over the lungs with the aid of a stethoscope.
If you constantly notice any of these symptoms, it is vital for you to get yourself checked. The more you wait, the worse it gets, and that could turn out to be very fatal for you. COPD is very manageable and with the right doctors and medication, you can still live a full life.