Understanding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Understanding Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term used to describe a variety of pulmonary conditions. COPD is a common condition affecting more than 3 million people in the United States every year. Living with COPD can feel overwhelming and uncomfortable. In addition, a COPD diagnosis puts people at a higher chance of developing heart problems, lung cancer, and other conditions. Fortunately, COPD is treatable and manageable when the right interventions are put into place.

COPD is a term describing chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is a long-term disease that progresses with time and makes breathing very difficult. While there is no cure, fortunately, COPD is preventable and treatable. The earliest warning signs of COPD are a constant cough and shortness of breath. While smokers are typically more susceptible to COPD, nonsmokers are capable of developing the disease as well. The best form of prevention is never to smoke, avoiding bad air pollution, avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke, and avoiding exposure to dust and chemical fumes.

COPD is a combination of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. However, most people present with one more than the other. Once diagnosed and severity is determined, patients can work with their physicians to develop a treatment plan. Treatments consist of everything from medicine to pulmonary rehabilitation, to supplemental oxygen, to stem cell therapy, to surgery and clinical trials. Each case of COPD is different and needs to be addressed individually. What works for one patient may not necessarily work for another.

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Medication is typically aimed at helping the patient breathe better and experience fewer flareups. Pulmonary rehabilitation takes a more holistic approach, addressing everything from training to nutrition advice. Supplemental oxygen can help people live a more normal life by ensuring all parts of their bodies are receiving adequate oxygen. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary if the patient can no longer breathe on their own. Clinical trials are available for people who are interested in trying new treatment plans that are not fully approved.

Every person who is diagnosed with COPD will see his or her life change. Living with COPD can make everyday activities seem more challenging to complete. While there is an adjustment period, COPD is treatable and manageable. Medication, exercise, and a healthy diet can help to improve COPD symptoms greatly. In addition to lifestyle changes, having a support network is key to living a healthy life with COPD.

COPD is a very common pulmonary condition. As a result, many organizations are researching how to better treat and care for those suffering from COPD. Lungs are a part of the body most people don’t think about until they start to fail. It is important to remember to take of your lungs at every stage of your life. Avoiding smoking, harsh chemicals, and air pollution are key steps people can take to lessen their chance of COPD. Fortunately, there has been lots of research conducted to understand how stem cells from stem cell treatment in Chicago may help rejuvenate damaged lung tissue. Living a productive life with COPD is possible as long as the condition is properly treated and managed.


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