Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is actually a category of diseases pertaining to the lungs and the respiratory system. Some of the common illnesses in the group include chronic bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia. It is important that individuals with this condition, sometimes called COPD, receive treatment and protect themselves from the cold or flu whenever possible.
There are usually three main symptoms that accompany these pulmonary conditions. These symptoms include a cough that brings up mucus, frequent lung infections, and breathlessness when active. Being short of breath increases as the person is more active. Depending on the condition and its severity, a person with this condition may experience a shortness of breath with little activity because of a narrowing in the airways.
The biggest cause of pulmonary illness is smoking. The longer a person smokes, the more likely they are to develop a condition in this group of diseases. The reason why smoking is the main cause is simply because the chemicals inhaled irritate the lungs and causes inflammation. This irritation and inflammation can cause serious and permanent damage to the lungs and airway.
There are other causes, although most of them pertain to being exposed to chemicals, toxins, fumes, and other similar substances. The exposure would generally have to be one a more consistent and constant basis although this may depend on the person. Some people have increased sensitivities to the poisons and therefore develop the conditions faster and easier.
Although it is rare, some cases of these conditions have been caused by dust in the air and by genetics. There may be other uncommon causes of the diseases also.
It is estimated that only a third of individuals who suffer from some form of COPD has been diagnosed. There are millions of people across North America and Great Britain suffering from these conditions. The rates of the development of the illnesses are increasing, especially in women.
It is important that individuals are diagnosed with these conditions early. If you are suffering from the symptoms mentioned above, you are urged to see a medical professional. There are treatments for these illnesses. The treatments can slow down the progression of the illness and the deterioration of the lungs.
There is no cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease but there are treatments to slow the progression. There may be changes to a person’s lifestyle required as well. For example, if you are diagnosed with such a condition and you are a smoker, quitting the habit is a good way to slow the condition.
Inhalers can be used if there are problems breathing, whether while being active or inactive. The type of inhaler depends on the person and the condition. In some cases, surgery is a possibility. Again, this varies with the individual and illness. Surgery for such conditions is usually a rarity.
Living a healthier lifestyle is important. It is recommended that patients eat a healthy and well-balanced diet. They can also use certain breathing exercises to health strengthen the lungs. There are medications to assist in relieving the symptoms of the respiratory illness involved.