A persistent disorder of lungs caused difficulty in breathing.
Common causes include smoking, atmospheric pollution,working in harmful environment with damage causing dust particles in the air you breathe.
It is slowly progressive over the years and will often follow a downhill course that is difficult to treat unless managed early and smoking and pollution avoided for life.
Rarely, a genetic defect called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency passed by inheritance causes COPD in later life.
CHRONIC BRONCHITIS, in which the lung pathways that carry the air we breathe in, travels to reach the air sacks where gas exchange between blood and air occurs, gets inflamed.
The lung also produces lots of mucus to try to wash out the pollutant.
These two together create the chronic airways obstruction in the lung.
When we breathe in, the air passages & lung inflate out to suck in air easily.
When we exhale, the muscular major air passages close earlier than the elasticity dependent minor airways.
This causes progressive air trapping in the tiny air sacs in the lungs that bloat up like balloons, loose their stretch or even burst their walls, leading to permanent loss of gas exchange surface area in air sacks. This makes you feel short of breath.
Persistent or recurring cough
Sticky mucus after a lot of coughing
Breathlessness, aggravated by exercise
• Later, breathlessness comes even on simple tasks
• Finally, breathlessness remains even at rest
• History of acute flare-up and partial remissions
A doctor can often come close to diagnosis just by listening to your sequence of illnesses leading up to the breathlessness stage.
History of Smoking & other pollutant exposure
Physical examination (Lung sounds are typical)
Spirometry (Pulmonary Function test)
X-Ray of the chest
Difficult to do daily activities like walk around the house, cooking, dusting, sweeping, toileting and bathing.
Edema (watery swelling) of the legs
Muscle weakness and loss of stamina
Early morning headache
Cyanosis in fingers (blue color of nails due to low oxygen level
Short acting Bronchodilators:Salbutamol and/or ipratropium
Inhaler giving 4 to 6 hour relief.
Oral: may be cardio-toxic in some
Long acting Bronchodilators:
Salmetrol & formetrol
Inhalers give 12 hour relief
Better for asthma and not COPD.
Tiatropium inhaler gives 1 day relief
Specific lung exercises, esp. Pranayam
Manage infection with specific vaccines or specific antibiotics.
Avoid pollutants like active or passive smoking, dusty moldy atmosphere, candle or kitchen smoke.
Supplemental oxygen from cylinder or oxygen concentrator
Keep hemoglobin at full normal.
HEALTHY LIFE STYLE
Healthy nutritious food
Avoid precipitating / aggravating factors
Inhalers, vaccines, occasional antibiotics (for acute stage), steroids when necessary, as advised by Physician expert in chest problems
Diagnostic and assessment
Diet and life style counseling
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
SCT Regenerative Medical Intervention (Experimental) & Clinical case studies