Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, shortly known as COPD, is a long-standing health concern that makes breathing difficult. People who smoke have a five times greater risk than non-smokers. Life-long health management serves your well-being.
Being a medical condition, COPD contributes to other health issues, including – heart disease, frequent respiratory infections, pulmonary hypertension, etc. Prolonged exposure to lung irritants damages the bronchial tubes and air sacs. Since this condition develops gradually, you get to notice signs over time. Receive A1 treatment for breathing problems in Siliguri, North Bengal.
Types of COPD
The two main classifications of COPD involve chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Let’s understand these two conditions individually:
Emphysema: This type of COPD affects and destroys the alveoli, the tiny sacs in your lungs. Tobacco consumption (smoking) is the most significant reason for emphysema. Signs of this condition may take time to appear. Shortness of breath, coughing, chest tightness, and wheezing are some common symptoms here.
Chronic Bronchitis: Inflammation of the bronchi, the tubes that carry air to and from your lungs. Symptoms may entail shortness of breath, coughing with mucus, chest discomfort, wheezing, and tiredness. Discomforts of chronic bronchitis may become severe during the winter season or in low temperatures.
What are the Symptoms of COPD?
Because COPD progresses with time, you may not even identify the condition early on. But when the stage of COPD turns more advanced, you feel the following signs:
- Shortness of breath/dyspnea, especially during exercise or physical activities
- Tightening sensation in your chest
- Lacking energy level
- Coughing up mucus
- Persistent cough
- Catching a cold/flu more often
- Unexplained weight loss
- Blue fingernails
- Swelling of ankles, legs, feet
When Should You Consult a Chest Specialist?
Visiting a general physician can also be of great help once you develop signs like – ongoing cough, excessive mucus coming out, or difficulty breathing. Upon proper monitoring of health, your physician may recommend a chest specialist/pulmonologist in case of any need.
At the same time, you can directly consult a pulmonologist. There’s no doubt that COPD may require emergency assistance. Immediate medical attention is, therefore, of importance.
What Increases the Risk of COPD?
The more you smoke (tobacco/cannabis), the greater your chance of developing COPD. Other contributing factors may include:
- Occupational or environmental exposure to chemicals, air pollutants, fumes, dust, and poor ventilation in the cooking space
- People with existing asthma in which their airways become narrow and swollen
- Genetics has a role in here as deficiency of alpha-1 antitrypsin may lead to COPD development
In order to prevent COPD, the first step is switching to a healthy lifestyle. If you smoke, it’s high time you should have quit it. Getting smoke cessation treatment helps get rid of smoking without hassles only if advised by your doctor. Schedule an appointment with the most trusted chest specialist in Siliguri city.
If you have been diagnosed with COPD, your doctor may suggest medical care that involves – medication, bronchodilators, combination inhalers, vaccination, et al. Fast access to oxygen therapy aids in improving the health. Depending on the severity of COPD, doctors can also go for surgery or pulmonary rehabilitation.