So as it turns out I didn’t quit smoking early enough and I now have COPD. I decided to do the research and write about the basics.
1. COPD, or Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the collective term for various diseases of the respiratory system (your breathing equipment).
Examples of this condition are emphysema, chronic obstructive airways and chronic bronchitis. The main symptom is breathing difficulties, either when activity levels are increased, or seen in a persistent cough containing phlegm or by frequent infections in the chest. The effects of these conditions are, in layman’s terms, inflammation and sagging of the bronchial tubes, leading to obstruction that reduces your normal breathing ability.
2. COPD can be caused by environmental factors such as dust, pollen or some physical factors such as genetics, but the primary cause is smoking.
3. In general more men than women are affected, with most cases beginning after the age of 35, but diagnosis not occurring until much later on, into the 50s age range.
4. As the name suggest the condition is chronic, meaning it is long term and patients must learn to manage their symptoms. One of the most effective ways of reducing the symptoms is by smoking cessation. Even with lifestyle changes, the condition is most likely permanent with symptoms improving but never going away completely. It is important to treat the condition early, so symptoms should be checked with a doctor as soon as possible, especially if you are high risk due to smoking or long-term exposure to environmental factors such as chemicals.
5. Treatment primarily involves removing the aggravating factors such as smoking, followed by the user of inhalers and in some cases surgery, to help increase the airflow to the lungs.
Living with COPD can be managed with some consideration given to factors that may exacerbate the symptoms. Activity levels and exposure to certain weather conditions may need to be considered, as well as avoiding vigorous exercise or sudden bursts of activity.
Author. Beta tester. Music lover. Huge geek, love zombies, video games, doctor who, sci-fi, horror, steampunk, and fantasy. Health and Nutrition expert, long time SEO consultant. I have 3 kids (4 counting the husband) and 3 cats.