What does chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) mean?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is independent progressing sickness of lungs, which is characterized by not only inflammatory component, so by structural alterations in vessels and lungs. It is proved, that COPD involves men older forty years old most of all. This illness takes main lines among all reasons of disability. Indeed, there is high lethal risk even for capable of working population.

What causes COPD is known?

Tobacco smoking is fundamental reason of COPD. There are respiratory infections in childhood, harmful industry, accompanying pulmonary pathologies and bad ecology among other factors, provoking chronic obstructive sickness of lungs well-known as COPD. It is mainly an occupational illness of many railroaders, miners, builders and people contacting with cement. As a rule, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is combination of two sicknesses (bronchitis and emphysema).

What is emphysema?

Emphysema is an illness, by which pulmonary alveoli are damaged and loses its elasticity. Healthy area of lung decreases for exchange of gases (oxygen and carbonic gas) between blood and breathed air. In a result of oxygen insufficient in blood, dyspnea appears, as feeling of air`s shortage.

Check yourself. Do you have COPD symptoms?

There are several COPD stages in clinical practice. In the first phase, illness appears with intense mucus discharge and constant cough standing out against invariable background of lung`s function. Also, sometimes symptoms of COPD may be reserved in very early stage.  Chronic cough, mucus production and insignificant obstructive disturbances are typical for second stage of COPD. There is limitation of the air flow with exhalation, in the third phase of chronical obstructive pulmonary disease. In more cases, aggressive clinical behavior is complicated by acute respiratory compromise and pneumonia. Spontaneous pneumothorax, pneumosclerosis and cardiac decompensation may be diagnosed sometimes. Some patients can have cor pulmonale or pulmonary hypertension in very hard stages. So we can mark three basic symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary sickness: constant (chronic) cough, mucus discharge and dyspnea. Absolutely in all cases, COPD leads to lowering of life quality and activity.

COPD treatment

Stop smoking is the best way to slow down progressing of chronic obstructive illness of lung. The physician can prescribe treatment aimed at sickness symptoms relief and general state improvement.  COPD medications can make easier breathing, take off or diminish short-wind.

There are different groups of preparations may be probably used for COPD treatment such as:

  • Bronchodilators (Ventolin, Atrovent, Combivent, Serevent and so on) are medicines for easy breathing, provoking widening of bronchi and making expiration proportional to inspiration;
  • Antibiotics (Vancomycin, Zithromax, Amoxicillin, Amikacin, Ampicillin, Cipro and different others) are necessary components of medicinal therapy in case of acute conditions of the sickness;
  • Glucocorticoids (Flovent, Pulmicort, Symbicort and so on) are chiefly applied for stopping some attacks of respiratory embarrassment;
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (such Aristocort, Ilosone, etc.), which can stop activation of substance answering for inflammatory process;
  • Several other medicamental preparations mostly prescribed by the specialists.

It is very important, to use all drugs strictly by prescription of your physician. There is rehabilitation program for lungs illnesses, helping to study of episodes` management. Specialists in the program advise and teach patients about right breathing technique at COPD for facilitating respiration, show what physical exercises may and need be done. Possibly, some patients would need to take course of oxygen therapy, in case of disease progression.

Prevention of infectious diseases of airways at COPD

People, suffering from COPD, are more amenable to infection of lungs. Yearly influenza vaccine is recommended for such patients. In addition, using of pneumococcal vaccine allows reducing acute condition of COPD rate and development of community-acquired pneumonia. Even if the patient fall ill with pneumonia after vaccination, than recovery will become more easy and faster. Standing at home, it is necessary to observe some rules, which may help you to prevent COPD aggravation and progression:

  • keep off contacts with different chemical matters, irritating lungs (smoke, car exhaust fumes, pollution air);
  • it is better to use air-conditioner or air filter at home;
  • it is necessary have a rest during working day;
  • do remedial exercises on a regular basis, to stay in good shape so long time, as possible.

What else should you have to know?

Asthmatic fits (especially by patients with bronchial asthma or other allergy or some allergic sicknesses) become more hard and frequent with increasing COPD weight. It is very important to know, what to do, to control an attack of this disease. Probably, the physician may prescribe several medicamental agents for helping with such episodes, but perhaps it may be needed of emergency call and immediate hospitalization in some difficult cases, for cutting off exacerbation and complications of COPD. Also with the lapse of time, depression and anxiety may appear more often, because of the sickness’s awareness. In this case, the patient has to consult with the doctor without fail about selection of treatment for not only lungs illness so for depression. Probably from the last one problem, the physician can prescribe some preparations (such as Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Remeron, Wellbutrin SR and so on), for normalization of the patient’s mental state.