Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung disease which makes it hard to breathe, which includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema and sometimes asthma. COPD refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. In 2004 (according to WHO), 64 million people have COPD and more than 3 million people died of COPD.
Some of the main causes of COPD
- In 80-90% cases it is caused by smoking
- Genetic reasons (alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency)
- Occupational dusts and chemicals
- Second hand smoke
- Wood smoke and other biomass fuel e.g. animal dung, crop residues used for cooking.
- Frequent lung infections as a child
COPD can be prevented by modifying some behaviors. Avoid inhaling tobacco smoke, indoor/outdoor air pollutants and avoiding respiratory infections to prevent developing COPD. Early diagnosis and preventive measures must be taken.
- Chronic cough
- Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds
- Producing lot of phlegm
- Quit smoking
- Medication: Bronchodilators, Bronchodilators with inhaled glucocorticosteroids, vaccine, Oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation,
- Surgery: Bullectomy, Lung Volume Reduction Surgery, lung transplant