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COPD

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is used to indicate a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive airways disease.

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COPD symptoms

People with COPD have difficulties breathing, usually due to the narrowing of their airways, this is called “airflow obstruction”. COPD is primarily caused by smoking which causes scarring to the lungs leaving them easy victims for imflammation.

Symptoms of COPD include:

  • increasing breathlessness when active
  • wheezing
  • a persistent cough with phlegm
  • frequent chest infections
  • tiredness and fatigue
  • swollen ankles

When you experience pain in the chest or start coughing up blood you should consult your physician as these or not symptoms of COPD but might indicate other severe problems.

COPD stages

COPD is a progressive disease which means its symptoms and severity will increase over time. COPD is classified in stages 1 to 4 which roughly correspond with the effect the disease has on the lung function: mild, moderate, severe, or very severe. Many people who have stage 1 COPD are not aware of it because they will normally still have 80% lung function. But as they progess to the further stages they will experience the symptoms as mentioned above, causing discomfort.

COPD treatment

There is no cure for COPD but it is important to realise several lifestyle changes make living with COPD easier. The most important one of that is to stop smoking as this will only do more damage to your lungs and worsen your COPD. Many people find it hard to stop smoking on their own, therefore Medix24 offers products which can help you.

Treatments you can use to help your COPD include Serevent. Serevent is a dry powder long-acting bronchodilator beta2 agonist inhaler, this means each dose lasts 12 hours.

When your oxygen levels become to low as a result of COPD, you might need oxygen therapy through a mask or nasal tubes. This treatment will only be allowed if you absolutely do not smoke anymore as the oxygen will react with fire or even a lighted cigarette and might cause an explosion or fire.

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