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COPD: When the lungs are chronic



Chronic lung disease is delayed, so is the name of the English language Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease translate roughly. Disease, COPD for the short term, develops gradually over many years. One of the main symptoms is chronic cough. Especially dangerous is that up to 85 percent of those affected at the initial stage do not pay attention or know about your disease. In some cases, coughing and respiratory disorders are not even related to COPD, which is why they were first treated incorrectly. In addition, the first symptoms such as persistent coughing and poor performance are often not taken seriously or pushed into other diseases.

COPD often runs fast, develops and cannot be cured. This disease can be slowed if detected early and treated properly. Depending on the severity and level of the disease, those affected can live almost normally with the right medication. Up to 15 percent of over-40s are affected. As we get older, the risk of developing COPD increases.

It happens in the lungs

In this disease, chronic bronchial inflammation. The walls are thick, in addition, the form of hard mucus. This allows less air to enter the alveoli, causing respiratory problems. Many sufferers also suffer from pulmonary emphysema. At the same time the walls of the alveoli were destroyed. As a result, the less oxygen enters the blood, the lungs expand, exhale is difficult.

The signs

Coughing, phlegm and respiratory problems are the first typical signs. Many are affected even with bad colds or flu. However, if this condition lasts for more than eight weeks without you actually having a cold, you should go to a family doctor. Often a stubborn cough occurs especially in the morning. If there is still a whistling sound when you exhale or if you have a short breath with a low load, you must hurry.

Risk factor

Smoking is the biggest risk factor. Only 20 percent of those affected do not smoke. This damages the function of cleaning yourself from the lungs. Even passive smoking and especially in children and adolescents can trigger COPD. This disease can also be passed down from generation to generation. Untreated asthma, delayed and not cured respiratory infections can also be detrimental, as well as environmental pollution from dust or gas.

Diagnosis

With a lung function test, called spirometry, your doctor will find out if you have COPD. At the same time it is determined how far your lungs may have been damaged.

Severity

The disease is divided into four levels of severity, which are calculated based on age, gender and results of pulmonary function tests.

The course

COPD develops slowly. Again and again there is a relapse, called exacerbation, which speeds up the course significantly. They are often triggered by respiratory diseases. Therefore, patients must protect themselves from the possibility of overloading the lungs.

Although COPD cannot be cured, many sufferers do not die directly from the disease, but from the conditions that accompany it. Because many limited capacities try to protect themselves. They only lift light things, avoid climbing stairs or distance. In the end, they almost only lived in their own apartment, which was supposed to be safe. They are socially isolated, some get depressed.

Treatment options

The most important direct measure is absolute smoking cessation. The affected person must reduce as much as possible all the harmful effects on the lungs. Drugs such as sprays keep the airways clean. Cortisone can be given for the inflammatory process. However, this anti-inflammation is rarely considered a permanent solution. He is more likely to be used in acute attacks. Medicines allow life to be mostly normal, it always depends on the correct treatment and dosage by pulmonary specialists.

Those affected can still do that

In addition, special, regular breathing exercises, proper exercise and exercise in the fresh air also help. All of this works and can help fight bronchial narrowing. Special lung sports groups and even pulmonary choirs are a good starting point. Affected people are also more involved in social contact. In addition, patients must be vaccinated against influenza and pneumococci. This prevents further pressure on the lungs. Holistic therapy also requires a conscious diet so as not to reduce excessive physical activity. Physiotherapy and other rehabilitation measures that help strengthen the lungs and body help if needed.

Regular control and consultation with a pulmonary specialist are also needed. Only he can develop therapy based on personal characteristics and data on your illness.

Prognosis

The earlier COPD is detected and treated, the better the development can be slowed. However, this depends on many of the patient's personal factors. In general, patients who are treated well can live a satisfying life for a long time. However, life expectancy decreases several years, and in the final severity, patients may depend on continuous oxygenation. Depression, muscle loss and bone loss can accompany side effects.


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