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WHAT IS COPD, HOW TO STAY SAFE

by The Welthi Bureau, November 23rd 2021

what is copd, how to stay safe
 Image used for representational purpose only

COPD is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. COPD is a rising public health concern in India. More than 5 crore people in our country are suffering from the same and the numbers are increasing every year. It is the second leading cause of death in our country.

 

COPD can be a serious illness. It cannot be cured and can get worse over time. You might have heard COPD referred to as "chronic bronchitis" or "emphysema." These are types of COPD. In people with COPD, the airways (the branching tubes that carry air within the lungs) become narrow and damaged. And the air sacs inside the lungs get weak and destroyed. The walls of the damaged air sacs become stretched out and your lungs actually get bigger, making it harder to move your air in and out says  Dr. Rakesh Kodati, MBBS, MD, DM, Consultant Pulmonologist, Star Hospitals

 

 

The main risk factors for COPD are tobacco smoking, atmospheric air pollution as well as indoor pollution due to smoke from biomass used for cooking. Solid fuels used in cooking and kerosene in open fires directly harm our lungs. The sources of indoor pollution are things that release gases or particles into the air such as; wooden stove, burners, water heaters, some dryers etch limitations created by the disease. Occupational exposure to chemical fumes and dusts is another risk factor for COPD. In rare cases, it is caused by a genetic problem.

 

At first, COPD often causes no symptoms. As it gets worse it can make you: feel short of breath, especially when you are moving around; Wheeze (make a whistling or squeaking noise as you breathe); Cough and spit up phlegm (mucus). People who have COPD are also at increased risk for: Infections, such as pneumonia; Lung cancer and Heart problems. Patients with COPD are considered as high risk group for covid 19. They tend to have severe covid disease and poor clinical outcomes.

Your doctor or nurse can give you a test called "spirometry" to check for COPD. During spirometry, you take a deep breath and then blow out as fast and hard as you can into a tube. A machine connected to the tube measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs and how fast you can blow. If the results of your spirometry are not normal, you will get a medicine in an inhaler to see if your breathing gets better.

The treatment mainly consists of smoking cessation along with use of medications delivered through inhalers/nebulisation

Here are important things you should do:

 

  • Stop smoking! If you smoke, the most important thing you can do for your COPD is to quit. It does not matter how long you have smoked or how much you smoke. Quitting will slow your disease and help you feel better. This can be hard, but your doctor or nurse can help you figure out the best way to quit.

 

  • Take the bronchodilator medications as advised by the doctor regularly

 

  • Get the flu shot every year, and the pneumonia vaccine at least once. Infections like the flu and pneumonia can be very hard on your lungs. It's important to try to prevent them.
  • Regular activity – Being active and exercising can help to improve your breathing, fitness, and quality of life. One should not avoid activities that make breathless. Regular exercise can help reverse this by strengthening your muscles.

 

  • Prevention is the best medicine, and working to keep lungs healthy is much more efficient than trying to repair them after something goes wrong. Keeping lungs healthy can include avoiding cigarettes, air pollution, or occupational exposures, as well as staying active either through regular physical activity.

 

Book Appointment:  Dr. Rakesh Kodati, MBBS, MD, DM, Consultant Pulmonologist, Star Hospitals


 Disclaimer: Welthi.com does not guarantee any specific results as a result of the procedures mentioned here, and the results may vary from person to person. Read more
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