COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
Another serious disease that affects the lungs is the COPD or the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. From the name, you would guess that we cannot ignore it and it is very serious; Chronic. The disease affects the lungs and causes serious troubles in the respiratory and breathing operation, which may impact your life in any moment.
It gets worse and worse through time. The longer it is untreated, the worse it gets. It causes serious difficulty in breathing. And, since it is chronic, being infected by it would be the last thing you wish.
However, for people who do not know about this disease, we are going to beware you about it today. All you need to know about the disease as basic knowledge reinforcement will be mentioned in this article.
There are about twelve millions diagnosed cases in US only, with this disease. The risk of developing it is high and many others may get is soon or later, but the worse problem is that they may know they have it. What is worse than getting a disease is to be unaware of being infected.
The COPD is said to be number four on the list of most causing diseases of death in USA. Aging is one of the most risk-increasing factors of the infection. The rate between men and women being infected differ; men are more likely than women are. Yet, the number of deaths because of this disease is quite the same between both genders.
There are two main aspects of branches of this disease, which are; bronchitis and emphysema. Both of them are mostly caused, as the COPD itself, by smoking. If a person develops COPD, he is most likely developing both branches of it. Both of the branches are mostly chronic and permanent.
As we have said before, what is worse than getting a disease is to be unware you are having it. The first step in order to avoid this problem and beware yourself of the infection is to know the symptoms and signs of the disease. So, let’s get to know what are those symptoms of the COPD!
What are the symptoms of COPD?
There are quite many signs and symptoms of the disease, but one is considered the most significant and primitively important to diagnose it, which is the chronic coughing.
The first sign that you have got the COPD is to have a chronic cough. If the cough lasts and persists for over three month to a year or even two years, then you are at the highest risk of being infected by COPD. You may keep coughing like every day even you are not ill or into a situation that causes you so.
The worse and the longer you COPD persist, the more you get signs and symptoms of it. The progressive situation of COPD causes you also wheezing. This is caused when your airways are narrow and the air moves hardly through them, which causes some sounds or whistling things. In some particular points you may get wheezing, but if it persists and lasts longer, you are at a high risk of being infected by COPD. If you wheeze, it may also mean that you have other different conditions such as asthma or the pneumonia.
Another sign of COPD is to have short breaths. The COPD infects your airways, which become usually swollen, inflamed, mucus-full, tight, and injured. So, when you develop this disease, you find it hard to breathe normally due to the airways that are not letting the air move as usual. This may worsen if you go on doing regular activities and daily tasks such as walking, dressing, taking a shower, or anything else.
Feeling fatigue and tired is also another sign of COPD. Because of the hardness to deliver enough oxygen into the body, your body react through some disability, which it mostly the feeling of tired. If your body does not get enough oxygen, you cells will not be able to provide you enough energy. The lack of energy means tiredness and fatigue.
The other sign of COPD is the infections in your respiratory system, which happen regularly and frequently. Being unable to clean your airways and your lungs in general make at risk of develop several different health infections such as the cold, flu, pneumonia, and others.
However, those were in order to diagnose your infection in the first stages. But, if you have already passed the first stages, you may become in the advanced ones, which usually confirm your infection of COPD. When the disease progresses and persists, it causes serious symptoms in the advanced cases, such as the following signs:
You may get headaches and high temperature causing you fever.
Your feet and ankles may start swelling.
You may develop another disease known as the cardiovascular condition.
You may start losing your weight incredibly.
What causes the COPD?
The WHO (World Health Organization) reported that the first and main cause of COPD is smoking. Smoking includes every kind, such as cigarettes, cigars, weeds, pipes or anything else. People who interact with smokers daily are considered as secondhand smokers, which may cause the same disease.
There is no actual big difference between the one who is addicted to smoking, and another who is nearby always and shares the same air. The smoke of tobacco contains thousands of toxic bodies and matters, while about 69 cancerous matters. This is enough to ruin and damage your whole respiratory system. You cannot expect something good from a toxic content.
However, here is a quick and short list that contain the most known causes of COPD:
First and main cause as we said is smoking. Any tobacco product may cause you this condition, not only regular cigarettes.
As mentioned above too, being a secondhand smoker may cause you to develop this condition as well. Maybe you are safe because you do not smoke and you are not addicted, but if you interact with others who are, then you will get it.
The polluted air and smokes of factories or other sources of pollution may cause you COPD too. If you breathe toxic bodies, toxic fumes, dust, or chemicals, you are at high risk of developing this disease as well.
The genetic cause is quite rare, but it is about two to three percent of all infected cases. This is usually in you DNA, which make your lung dysfunction, unlike the normal cases.
Having another lung condition may cause you the same trouble. The most contributor condition that causes you COPD is asthma. There is a big difference between asthma and COPD, but if you do not treat your asthma you may develop COPD late even that this case is quite uncommon.