Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease is a characteristic condition, marked with the chronic airway inflammation that is often associated with progressive airflow blockage of the windpipe. Managing such type of severe disorder needs patience and will power. Incidentally, COPD is a later stage of some common forms of pulmonary disorders like chronic bronchitis, emphysema, allergy, asthma attacks, etc. In the majority of the cases, i.e. almost 80-90%, the disorder has a strong link up with smoking; however, some other factors have as well been found to be contributing to its flare-ups, such as:
- Genetic predisposition
- Allergy to environmental pollution, dust, etc.
- Occupational exposure to chemicals and fumes
- Passive smoking
- Frequent lung infections, pneumonia
- Wood smoke and other biomass fuel used for cooking, etc.
COPD is majorly diagnosed in people above the age of 40 years; this may be because initially shortness of breath can never be thought of leading to a severe disorder like COPD; till the time even simple tasks are done with great difficulty. Cross-sectional analyses of people, who have been died with COPD have exhibited swollen airway passages, filled with the mucus along with damaged air sacs; altogether leading to the lack of oxygen and death.
People, with suspected COPD, can express one of the following symptoms, like:
- Long-lasting cough with mucus
- Shortness of breath, with a wheezing sound, while breathing
- Chronic lung infections
- Unplanned loss of weight
COPD flares up with progressively damaged airway passage and alveolar sacs. Flare-ups are generally identified as exacerbations and can be one of the major reasons for disability, hospital admission as well as occasional death. It is indeed very important to be aware of the prevention techniques if in case warning signs of flare-ups are being noticed like unusual shortness of breath, yellow/green/brown mucus, runny nose, swollen ankles, unusual chest pain, drowsy feeling, etc. It has been generally advised to immediately consult a specialist or rush to the nearest intensive care unit. Although prevention of COPD flare-ups can help subside its intensity and manage with the disorder. Some of the important points to be noted, while taking precautions with COPD are:
- Eat healthy and cooked food, exercise regularly and opt for enough sleep.
- Wash hands properly before and after eating anything, avoid touching parts of your body such as eyes, mouth, nose, etc. Keep distance from sick people.