June 28, 2022
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the term used to describe a group of progressive lung diseases that make it harder to breathe.
Some people have one of two types of COPD – chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Others have a combination of both.
COPD is often stable for periods and then suddenly flares up.
If you smoke, quitting now can keep COPD from getting worse. With medication, exercise, and other steps, you can live well for decades with COPD.
WHAT IS COPD?
COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, two lung conditions that often share a common cause – smoking.
Normally, when you take a breath, air travels from your nose and mouth through your windpipe and into the bronchi. Bronchi are air passages that branch off into each lung. The bronchi branch further into thousands of smaller, thinner tubes called bronchioles. These tubes end in grape-like clusters of small, round air sacs called alveoli.
Tiny blood vessels, called capillaries, absorb oxygen from the air through the walls of the alveoli and deliver it to cells throughout the body. Carbon dioxide moves in the opposite direction. It passes out of the bloodstream, back into the alveoli, and is then eliminated from the body when you breathe out.
HOW COPD AFFECTS THE LUNGS
In COPD, less air flows in and out of the airways, for several reasons:
Focus on: Chronic bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis develops when the bronchi are irritated day after day. This can trigger overproduction of mucus along with inflammation and swelling of the airways.
Inflammation narrows the airways. Mucus blocks them further. Like traffic crawling on a congested road, air moves slowly in and out of your lungs. You may wheeze as you work hard to breathe, and cough to clear mucus from your airways.
People with chronic bronchitis find it increasingly difficult to exercise and remain active.
Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include:
Focus on: Emphysema
Emphysema affects the lung tissue itself. This is different from chronic bronchitis, which affects the passages that carry air to and from the lungs.
Emphysema destroys the walls between the tiny air sacs (alveoli). This leaves the lungs less able to deliver oxygen to the bloodstream and remove carbon dioxide from the bloodstream.
Lung tissue also loses its resilience, which prevents it from stretching and contracting properly. When the lungs lack resilience, they cannot fully push out air. Instead, some air remains trapped in the air sacs.
Symptoms of emphysema include:
The main symptom of emphysema is breathlessness. At first, you have difficulty catching your breath during the activity. Over time, you may feel breathless after taking a few steps, or when sitting or lying down.
HOW IS COPD DIAGNOSED?
The story of your health and how you are feeling can alert your doctor to test you for COPD.
Medical history and physical exam
Your doctor will ask whether you smoke. He or she may also ask whether you have breathed in toxic chemicals on the job. The doctor will need to know how easily you become short of breath and when. Do you have trouble climbing stairs? How long can you walk before you have to stop and rest?
Next, the doctor will listen to your lungs through a stethoscope for telltale signs of COPD.
Lab tests can show how much COPD has affected your lungs’ ability to take up oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide.
Pulmonary function tests
Pulmonary function tests show how well your lungs work. You breathe in and out through a spirometer, a tube that is connected to various machines.
These tests measure two things:
Pulmonary function tests are simple and painless.
If you have emphysema, your lungs may appear larger than normal on a chest x-ray and hold abnormally large amounts of air.
Your diaphragm (the main muscle involved in breathing) may appear flattened.
If you have chronic bronchitis, a chest x-ray is likely to look normal.
Smoking is the main cause of COPD. Most people who develop COPD smoke.
TAKING CONTROL OF COPD
If you smoke, quitting is the most important thing you can do to stop COPD from getting worse.
Smoking leads to both physical and behavioral addiction. So it is a hard habit to break.
Medications and therapy can help you overcome physical addiction to nicotine.
Nicotine-replacement medications deliver a low dose of nicotine into your bloodstream to ease or erase withdrawal symptoms. Gradually you wean yourself off tobacco and nicotine replacement.
Nicotine replacement products are available in several forms:
Two other prescription quit-smoking medications don’t contain nicotine. They act on the brain to decrease cravings, withdrawal symptoms, or both.
Therapy, either one-on-one with a counselor or group counseling with people who have quit or are trying to, can help you break long-held habits.
Medications and other treatments won’t cure COPD. But they can help you breathe better and remain active.
Bronchodilators open up the airways. They are the cornerstone of COPD treatment. Once you begin using a bronchodilator, you should have less shortness of breath and more capacity for exercise.
Long-acting bronchodilators are used every day to keep airways open and relaxed. Short-acting bronchodilators are used mainly for quick relief during a flare-up.
Bronchodilators are usually inhaled.
Corticosteroids are powerful drugs that curb inflammation and help open airways. They are available in inhalers and as pills.
Inhaled corticosteroids are effective but can increase the risk of pneumonia. They are mainly for people with severe COPD or those who have frequent lung infections.
Corticosteroids in pill form can cause even more serious side effects, but they can effectively control flare-ups.
Antibiotics are used to treat lung infections caused by bacteria. People with COPD often need antibiotics for respiratory infections. Early treatment is very important.
As COPD becomes more severe, the oxygen level in your blood may become dangerously low. If this happens to you, breathing in extra oxygen can help you live longer. And it can help you avoid problems that can occur when your body isn’t getting enough oxygen on its own.
Some oxygen delivery systems are small and lightweight enough to use while doing regular activities, such as shopping or running errands.
Surgery may help if you have emphysema. Lung volume reduction surgery involves removing some damaged lung tissue. This gives healthier lung tissue more room to expand and contract. It also helps the lungs work more effectively.
A lung transplant may be an option for people with severe emphysema who cannot benefit from other types of lung surgery.
Pulmonary rehabilitation can help individuals with COPD control their symptoms.
Rehabilitation can improve quality of life, helping individuals carry out day-to-day activities with greater ease and independence. Rehabilitation includes:
COPD increases your risk of lung infections.
These infections can make COPD symptoms worse. Such flare-ups are called exacerbations.
If you have COPD, get a flu shot every year. Request the injectable flu shot, which contains killed virus, rather than the nasal spray vaccine, which is made with live, weakened flu virus.
You should also get the pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against the most common type of pneumonia.
HAVE A COPD ACTION PLAN
Your doctor should discuss an action plan in case you have an exacerbation. If you have symptoms of increased cough with thick, discolored mucus, particularly if you have shortness of breath, contact your doctor right away. Your doctor will determine if you need an antibiotic and/or oral corticosteroids to manage your symptoms.
Stellapharm is one of leading generics pharmaceutical companies and strong producer of anti-viral drugs in Vietnam. The company established in Vietnam in 2000; and focuses on both prescription drugs and non-prescription especially in cardiovascular diseases, antiviral drugs, anti-diabetics drugs, etc. and our products are now used by millions of patients in more than 50 countries worldwide.
The company is globally recognized for its quality through our facilities have been audited and approved by stringent authority like EMA, PMDA, Taiwan GMP, local WHO and others.
Additional information for this article: Stellapharm J.V. Co., Ltd. – Branch 1
A: 40 Tu Do Avenue, Vietnam – Singapore Industrial Park, An Phu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province, Vietnam
T: +84 274 376 7470 | F: +84 274 376 7469 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | W: www.stellapharm.com
Theo tuổi tác, hệ miễn dịch của chúng ta trở nên kém hiệu quả hơn trong việc đối phó với các tình trạng nhiễm trùng cũng như kém đáp ứng với việc chủng ngừa. Đồng thời, hệ miễn dịch lão hóa có mối liên hệ với tình trạng viêm mạn tính, từ đó làm tăng
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