Understanding COPD

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is the name used to describe a number of conditions affecting the lungs including emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

When smoke and other pollutants enter the lungs, the cilia are often paralyzed or destroyed. This causes airways to become swollen and narrowed. Over time, lungs with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease lose their elasticity, get big and floppy, and make it hard for to breathe and release air.

What is respiratory medicine speciality?

Respiratory medicine is a speciality which deals diseases related to our respiratory system which consist of the nose, nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, trachea, smaller conducting airways (bronchi and bronchioles), lungs and pleura

What is the function of our lungs?

The lungs' main function is to help oxygen from the air we breathe enter the red cells in the blood. Red blood cells then carry oxygen around the body to be used in the cells found in our body. The lungs also help the body to get rid of CO2 gas when we breathe out.

What is the pathophysiology of COPD?

In COPD, less air flows in and out of the airways because of one or more of the following:

  • The airways and air sacs lose their elastic quality.
  • The walls between many of the air sacs are destroyed.
  • The walls of the airways become thick and inflamed.
  • The airways make more mucus than usual and can become clogged

What are the signs and symptoms of COPD?

  • Increased breathlessness
  • Frequent coughing (with and without sputum)
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest

What are the risk factors associated with COPD?

 Inhaling pollutants; that includes smoking and second-hand smoke.

Fumes, chemicals and dust found in many work environments are contributing factors

Genetics can also play a role in an individual’s development of COPD—even if the person has never smoked or has ever been exposed to strong lung irritants in the workplace.

What are some options for Treatment?

  • Oxygen therapy is a medical treatment. For people with COPD, oxygen therapy can be a helpful part of their treatment plan.
  • Controller and Rescue Medications like bronchodilators
  • Breathing exercises:

1)Pursed-Lips Breathing

  • Slows your breathing down
  • Keeps airways open longer so your lungs can get rid of more stale, trapped air
  • Reduces the work of breathing
  • Increases the amount of time you can exercise or perform an activity
  • Improves the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide

To do purse-lips breathing:

  • Breathe in through your nose) for about 2 seconds.
  • Pucker your lips like you’re getting ready to blow out candles on a birthday cake.
  • Breathe out very slowly through pursed-lips, two to three times as long as you breathed in.

2) Diaphragmatic (Abdominal/Belly) Breathing

 

The diaphragm is the main muscle of breathing. It’s supposed to do most of the work. When you have COPD, the diaphragm doesn’t work as well and muscles in the neck, shoulders and back are used. These muscles don’t do much to move your air. Training your diaphragm to take over more “work of breathing” can help.

This technique is best used when you’re feeling rested and relaxed, and while sitting back or lying down.

 

Relax your shoulders.

  • Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.
  • Inhale through your nose for about two seconds.
  • As you breathe in, your belly should move outward. Your belly should move more than your chest.
  • As you breathe out slowly through pursed-lips, gently press on your belly. This will push up on your diaphragm to help get your air out.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation and exercises
  • Avoid any risk factor that can exasperate your underlying condition and can cause pneumonia
  • Quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to treat COPD. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit.
  • Surgeries for people who have COPD that is mainly related to emphysema include bullectomy and lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS). A lung transplant might be an option for people who have very severe COPD.

What are some Diagnostic Test?

  • Spirometry lung function test:

Anyone with the following should get tested:

  • Has a history of smoking
  • Has long-term exposure to air pollutants (including pollution and second-hand smoke)1
  • Has chronic coughing with or without sputum
  • Has wheezing
  • Has shortness of breath that has become worse over time
  • Cannot keep up with people of your own age

Spirometry is a simple, non-invasive test that is used to diagnose COPD. The machine will calculate two numbers: the amount of air you blow out in the first second, and the amount of air you blow out in 6 seconds or more. A spirometry test can also show your doctor how severe your COPD may or may not be.

  • History of COPD in your family, ALPHA-1 ANTITRYPSIN DEFICIENCY for COPD is indicated.
  • Chest x-ray or a chest CT (high resolution computed tomography).

For further treatment and information please contact are respiratory medicine department at Wockhardt Hospital

About Wockhardt Hospital:

A 50-year-old legacy and tradition of caring is what Wockhardt Hospital stands on. Wockhardt Hospitals has been proactive in bringing innovative nurturing for better health. Wockhardt Hospitals has become a leading health service provider with its strong presence in the western parts of the country i.e. Mumbai, Nagpur Rajkot, Nasik and Surat. This group of 8 hospitals fulfils the need of the community in its chosen field of super specialty like Cardiology, Orthopaedics, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Urology, Aesthetics and Minimal Access Surgery.

Wockhardt Hospitals has state-of-the-art infrastructure. Our prime objective is patient safety and quality of care at all levels. The guiding philosophy is to serve and enrich the Quality of Life of patients and to make life win.

Wockhardt Hospitals follow process driven quality systems that adhere to international standards of clinical care, safe environment, infection control and respect for patient rights & privacy. Many of the Wockhardt group of hospitals has accreditation of the NABH (National Accreditation Board of Hospitals &Healthcare), the highest and the most stringent quality standards institution in India and the National authority in healthcare accreditation. To achieve high degree of clinical excellence, we have entered into strategic alliances with Partners Medical International, USA, whereby Wockhardt Hospitals has access to Harvard’s expertise and experience in the fields of surgery and other Medicare services. Wockhardt group of hospitals in India is a preferred destination for patients from Europe, USA, Africa, Middle East and South Asia.

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