Chronically inhibited lung disease, so the English name Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease translate roughly. The disease, COPD for short, develops gradually over many years. One of the main symptoms is chronic cough. It is especially dangerous that up to 85 percent of those who suffered in the early stages do not notice and do not know about your illness. In some cases, cough and respiratory distress are not even associated with COPD, so they are not treated correctly at first. In addition, the first symptoms, such as persistent coughing and poor efficacy, are often not taken seriously or are not pushing for other diseases.
COPD often occurs, develops and is not curable. The disease can be slowed down if it is detected at an early stage and properly treated. Depending on the severity and extent of the disease, victims can live almost normal lives with appropriate medication. Up to 15 percent of more than 40 years have suffered. With age, the risk of developing COPD increases.
It occurs in the lungs.
With the disease the bronchi are chronically inflamed. In addition, their walls thicken, hard forms of mucus. This allows significantly less air to enter the alveoli, causing respiratory distress. Many sufferers additionally suffer from the so-called emphysema. At the same time, the walls of the alveoli collapse. As a result, less and less oxygen enters the bloodstream, the lungs expand, it is difficult to exhale.
Cough, sputum and respiratory distress are the first typical symptoms. Many of them even suffer from colds or flu. However, if this condition persists for more than eight weeks, if you have not really caught a cold, be sure to consult your family doctor. Often a stubborn cough occurs especially in the morning. If there is still a whistling sound during exhalation, or if you have shortness of breath at low loads, you should hurry.
Smoking is the biggest risk factor. Only 20 percent of the victims did not smoke. It damages the lung's self-cleaning function. Even passive smoking, especially in children and adolescents, can subsequently cause a disease of COPD. The disease can also break out hereditary. Untreated asthma, delayed and unhealed respiratory infections can also be harmful, as well as environmental pollution from dust or gases.
Using a lung function test, the so-called spirometry, the doctor will know if you have COPD. At the same time, it is determined how far your lungs can be damaged.
The disease is divided into four levels of severity, which are calculated according to the results of the test for age, sex and lung function.
COPD develops slowly. Recurrences, so-called exacerbations, which significantly accelerate the course, appear again and again. They are often caused by respiratory problems. Thus, patients should protect themselves, as far as possible, from further burdening the lungs.
Although COPD is not curable, many sufferers do not die directly from the disease, but due to concomitant circumstances. Because of their limited ability, many try to protect themselves. They only lift light things, avoid climbing stairs or long distances. In the end, they almost only remain in their supposedly safe apartment. They are socially isolated, some get depressed.
The most important immediate measure is the absolute cessation of smoking. Victims should minimize their harmful effects on the lungs. Medicines, such as sprays, clear the airways. Cortisone can be prescribed for inflammatory processes. However, this anti-inflammatory agent is rarely considered a permanent solution. It will most likely be used in acute attacks. The preparations allow a largely normal life, it always depends on the correct treatment and the dosage of the treatment specialist.
Those who are hurt can still do it.
In addition, special breathing exercises, regular, suitable sports and outdoor exercise also help. It all works and can help against narrowing of the bronchi. Good starting points are special light sport groups and even pulmonary choirs. Affected people are also more actively involved in social contacts. In addition, patients should be vaccinated against influenza and pneumococci. This prevents further stress on the lungs. Holistic therapy also requires a conscious diet in order not to unduly reduce physical activity. Physical therapy and other rehabilitation measures that help strengthen the lungs and body, if necessary, will help.
Also requires regular monitoring and consultation with a pulmonary specialist. Only he can develop a therapy based on your personal characteristics and data about the disease.
The sooner COPD is detected and treated, the better the progression may be slowed. However, this depends on many personal factors of the patients. In general, well-treated patients can live a full life for a long time. However, life expectancy is reduced by several years, and at the last severity, patients may depend on continuous oxygenation. Depression, muscle loss and bone loss may accompany the disease.