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COPD - Causes, Symptoms & treatment

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name of lung diseases that cause breathing difficulties. The breathing problems tend to get worse over time. They can limit your normal activities, although treatment can help keep COPD under control.

COPD includes:

Emphysema: damages tiny air sacs at the end of the airways in your lungs, where oxygen is taken up into your bloodstream. They break down and the lungs become baggy and full of bigger holes which trap air.

Chronic Bronchitis: long-term inflammation of the airways. People with bronchitis have narrow airways and often produce excess sputum, or phlegm.

These diseases narrow the airways, which makes it harder to difficult to breathe. Your lungs are less able to take in oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide.

What does COPD stand for?

Chronic = it's a long term disease and doesn't go away.

Obstructive = airways have become narrowed, which makes it harder to breathe out quickly and air gets trapped in your chest.

Pulmonary = it affects your lungs

Disease = it's a medical condition.

Why do airways become narrowed in COPD?

  • When lungs tissue becomes damaged, there is less pull on the airways.
  • The airways lining becomes inflamed and swollwn. Mucus blocks part of the airways.



An early diagnosis can help you breathe more easily!

What causes COPD?

COPD usually develops due to long-term damage to your lungs. Some of reasons are:

  • Smoking or long term exposure to tobacco smoke
  • AIr pollution
  • Unsafe working conditions such as exposure to dust, fumes and harmful chemicals at workplace.
  • Chest problems during childhood
  • COPD runs in the family.

What is the difference between COPD and Asthma?

COPD causes permanent damage to your lungs. An inhaled medication can help to open up narrowed airways to some extent. Whereas in asthma, the narrowing of your airways - such as dust, pollen or tobacco smoke. Inhaled medication can open up your airways fully, prevent symptoms and relieve symptoms by relaxing your airways.



So, if your breathlessness and other symptoms are much better on some days than others, or if you often wake up in the night feeling wheezy, chances are that you have asthma.

What are the symptoms of COPD?

  • Shortness of breath even when you do everyday things such as going for a walk or doing housework
  • having a chronic cough
  • wheezing in cold weather
  • producing more sputum or phlegm than usual



Without treatment, the symptoms usually get progressively worse. There may also be periods when they get suddenly worse, known as a flare-up or exacerbation.

Treatment of COPD?

If you have any unusual symptoms such as shortness of breath, excess mucus production, chest pain etc kindly visit our Pulmonology Clinic for complete treatment.

COPD is largely a preventable condition. You can significantly reduce your chances of developing it if you avoid smoking. If you are already a smoker, stop smoking. It can help prevent further damage to your lungs before it starts to worsen your lungs health.