The disease name COPD is awell-known disease of the lungs in which emphysema and chronic bronchitis combined and damages the lungs gradually.
Early signs of COPD:(1)
It is evaluated that a huge population of the United States about 30 million people have this disease;some people have no idea about the early symptoms and diagnosis of this disease.COPD patients feel short breathing issues, cough followed by fever as it gets older. The symptoms get intense and thus completely block the air passage, whichultimately causes death if not treated properly. Early symptoms are not dangerous. Some people confuse it with normal cold, initial signs are as follows:
- After doing exercise, the patient feels a shortening of breathing patterns but they are not constant.
- Continuous coughing but not chronic.
- After waking in the morning itfeels compactness in the throat that should be clean immediately.
If the early symptoms do not address properly then it will become very dangerous and deadly in some cases, signs are:
- Feels continuous loss of breath even after light exercise and by going upstairs.
- Creates sound while taking breathe along with sneezing.
- Toughness in the chest.
- Mucus inflammation that creates a blockage in the air passage thus generates chronic cough with pain.
- Fatigue and swelling of legs and feet if not cure properly.
- Sudden weight loss.
The main reason by which COPD will happen to anyone is smoking; some have experience COPD in early life due to chain-smoking while major cases are of those people who smokecigarettes regularly for the last 40 years or so on.The risk of getting COPD also increases if you are an asthma patient.
COPD also affects those people who work or live near chemical factories so, they inhale different poison fumes in their lungs from surroundings,in recent studies of COPD, scientists found that this disease is genetic as up to 5℅ chance due to the missing of one protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin. This type of deficiency may also affect the functioning of the liver.
Diagnosis of COPD:
There is no special diagnosis of COPD because it generally appears by the condition of the patient and symptoms. These symptoms can be indicatedduring treatment or assessment. You must consult a doctor and tell about the symptoms in detail. He will ask you:
- If your family history is related to COPD.
- If you are a smoker or work in a toxic fuming environment.
- If you face any problems in your respiratory tract oryouhave asthma.
- If you are addicted to drugs or take improper medications.
Examination and test of COPD:
First of all the doctor examine by listening to the sound as you breathe by the stethoscope, if he finds any major issue then he will suggest yougo through some examinations which are as follows:
- Spirometry is some sort of immediate intra-operative test in which a tube-shaped device is connected with a spirometer, when you exhale air in that tube the spirometer detects the problem.
- The other easy examination of the chest is called imaging tests like X-rays or CT-Scan, which tells all the information regarding the functioning of your lungs air tubes, and blood vessels.
- Another test is called an arterial blood gas test, in which blood samples are collected from arteries to measure and evaluate the amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other basic blood-related values, this test is also valid for other lung diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and heart failure.
Treatment of COPD:(2)
There is no method discover yet to cure the COPD but to treat COPD, the first thing you have to do is:
- Quitsmoking, if you don’t do this then you will face problems in terms of chronic cough and fatigue in your body constantly and no treatment would be effective.
- Take medications in form of tabletsand an inhaler to ease the breathing.
- In some serious cases, doctors advise going for surgery and transplantation of lungs if possible.
Inhalers are used to treat COPD. This device delivers the medication directly into your lungs and gives youvery quick relief from coughing. Inhalers used for COPD are of three types:
Short-acting bronchodilator inhaler
In most cases, short-acting bronchodilators are the first-line treatment. They include two types that are:
- Beta-2 agonist bronchodilator like salbutamol and terbutaline.
- Antimuscarinic inhalers such as ipratropium.
Long-acting bronchodilator inhaler
There are two types of long-acting bronchodilators that are:
- Beta-2 agonist bronchodilator that includes drugs like salmeterol and formoterol and indacaterol.
- Antimuscarinic inhalers include tiotropium and aclidinium
If a patient is still having symptoms of breathlessness after long-acting bronchodilators, the general practitioner would recommend steroid inhalers to reduce the symptoms. Corticosteroid is included in steroid inhalers that help in reducing the inflammation present in the airways.
Steroid inhalers are mostly prescribed with the combination of long-acting bronchodilators to reduce the symptoms.
This tablet is used for reducing the swelling in the bronchi tubes and reduce the pain by clearing the passage for smooth breathing, there are two forms of dosage are present in the market- tablet and capsule. generally, two tablets a day are prescribed with proper monitoring of drug quantity in blood.
Side effects of this tablet include:
- Disturbance in sleeping pattern
- Disturb heartbeat
This medicine is available to treat the unusual cough with mucus and is known as carbocistein. It treats the condition by converting the thick phlegm to thin which can easily pass through the throat thus relaxing the throat. You can take this medicine thrice per day with your doctor’s advice.
Although this medication is not likely to be prescribed by doctors due to its side effects but very effective once you take it. These tablets are only recommended for 4-5 days only. Otherwise, it causes many problems, especially in women by weakening bones and causes osteoporosis, weight gain, and mood swings.