Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of obstructive lung disease characterized by long-term breathing problems and poor airflow. It’s caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions.
The two most common conditions that contribute to COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. These two conditions usually occur together and can vary in severity among individuals with COPD.
Chronic bronchitis is inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs. It’s characterized by daily cough and mucus (sputum) production.
Emphysema is a condition in which the alveoli at the end of the smallest air passages (bronchioles) of the lungs are destroyed as a result of damaging exposure to cigarette smoke and other irritating gases and particulate matter.
Symptoms of COPD
Shortness of breathe
Shortness of breath medically which is also known as dyspenia. People with shortness of breathe feels intense tightening in the chest, air hunger, difficulty breathing. They may even feel breathlessness or a feeling of suffocation.
Despite the copd patients healthy person can also face shortness of breath due to exercise, higher altitude and extreme temperatures.
Trouble taking deep breathe
Very often, people experience trouble breathing after exercising or when they feel anxious. It is because of weakness in the lungs and its tissues.
A productive cough is when you have a cough that produces mucus or sputum. You may feel congested and have a tight chest. When there is irritation in the lungs than body produces the cough in response to the irritants.
Symptoms are often worse when waking up from sleep and when talking. The wet cough may be the last symptom left after a common cold infection.
Wheezing is mostly seen in copd and other respiratory illness like asthma and other acute bronchitis. It is characterized by a high-pitched, coarse whistling sound when you breathe. When the airways in the lungs get narrowed than the whistling sound is produced.
A chest infection is an infection of the lungs or large airways.
When the lungs doesn’t function on the way it is supposed to function due to discomfort, wheezing or other causes then the chest infection is seen.
people with copd lose weight due to the nausea and loss of appetite. Due to which they may become underweight and malnourished. When one with copd loose weight they may even loose the muscle mass that helps in breathing. This may make breathing even more difficult.
COPD reduces airflow into your lungs, making breathing difficult and labored. It also reduces the oxygen supply that the body needs because of which body will feel tired and exhausted.
Swollen ankles from a build-up of fluid
When there is no enough oxygen in blood the heart wouldn’t be able to pump the amount of blood through the body that is needed for organs like the liver and kidneys to function well.
In healthy people, the liver and kidneys help remove fluids from the body. But without enough blood supply, those organs are not able to do their usual jobs. This causes too much fluid to collect and build up in areas like the ankles, legs, and feet.
Although COPD is a progressive disease that gets worse over time, COPD is treatable. With proper management, most people with COPD can achieve good symptom control and quality of life, as well as reduced risk of other associated conditions.
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