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9 Things You Should Know About Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Cold is a normal problem that affects everyone. It could lead to running nose, cough, and dry throat. These symptoms usually last for a week and disappear after that. So what happens if there is a phlegm deposition in the breathing pipe?

There are many reasons for chest related diseases, this includes, pollution, smoking, unhealthy lifestyle, and genetic disorders. Some of the chest related diseases can even turn fatal. One such disease is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). What is COPD? And what are the available solutions and treatments for this problem?

Lung Obstruction

When breathing pipe gets obstructed due to high levels of phlegm and toxins, it reduces and blocks the air flow to the lungs. This reduces the ability of the lungs to expand and contract. We term this problem as COPD.

How is Lung Obstruction Formed?

Our body makes us cough when there is deposition of phlegm in the breathing tube and on the lung surface. A cough helps to remove and throw out the phlegm through our mouth. This reaction to obstruction or blocks in the breathing tube by our body is termed as cough reflex. When there is excess deposition of phlegm and toxins in breathing tube and lungs, it gets stickier and doesn’t get out easily. Furthermore, cough reflex gets weakened as a person gets older.

COPD attacks people of all ages.

Symptoms of COPD or Lung Obstruction

COPD doesn’t show any signs in its initial stages. Some people might feel hard to breathe while consuming cool drinks, refrigerated foods, and when exposed to the excess smoke. Some people might have a problem with breathing during the night and early mornings. Rarely, some people might even have epilepsy. All of these symptoms could be the sign for COPD or lung obstruction.

Results of Lung Obstruction or COPD

Our body needs oxygen for its normal functioning. When there is an obstruction in lungs or in the breathing pipe, oxygen levels in our body starts to decrease. Our internal organs need oxygen as well, low levels of oxygen could lead to infections and many other problems. When COPD matures, it will impact many internal organs, this includes the liver, gallbladder, upper abdomen, kidneys, and lungs. This leads to severe fever, pneumonia, continuous cough, and difficulty in breathing. Apart from this, it can even lead to heart attack, cancer, cardiac arrest and many other heart diseases.

Tests for COPD

Obstruction in lungs can be detected with X-rays, scans, and pulmonary function test.

Treatments for COPD or Lung Obstruction

As COPD can only be detected in its advanced stage, there is no specific treatment available to cure it completely. Doctors usually prescribe medications and tablets that reduce the levels of Cold & phlegm formation. Rarely, some patients might have a need for surgery to remove excess phlegm from their lungs. But this surgery is not a cure. So prevention is better than cure for this particular disease.

Who is more vulnerable to COPD?

  • Those who have less immunity.
  • People who are a victim of pneumonia in their early years or when they were too young.
  • Heart patients with heart blocks.
  • People who are under treatment for blood pressure.
  • Those who smoke a lot.
  • Bedridden patients.

Vaccines for COPD or Lung Obstruction

Influenza Vaccine can be taken once in 6 months.
Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine could be taken once a year. People suffering from diabetes have 80% chance to protect themselves from COPD by taking these vaccines.

What are the preventive measures?

  • Regular exercise is a must.
  • Breathing exercises like pranayama help in a great way.
  • Refrigerated and cold foods should be avoided.
  • Protein rich foods must be included in the daily diet.
  • Seniors must undergo Pulmonary function test once a year.
  • Smoking cigarettes must be avoided, and even being in the proximity of a smoking person must be avoided.