Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a lung condition, chronic in occurrence, which makes breathing difficult for the COPD patient because the lung airways become obstructed.
It is not an uncommon disease and the symptoms of COPD usually affect people who suffer from asthma, repeated episodes of bronchitis and sufferers of emphysema.
COPD is a serious disease and in the United States is leading cause of death.
Blocked airways and sacs in the lungs of COPD patients make exhaling a difficult job and causes strain on the COPD sufferer.
Because exhaling is difficult the air is trapped in the lungs and expelling it out of the body is difficult.
The symptoms of COPD start out rather slow and barely recognizable. They become exacerbated rather quickly and the COPD patient’s condition generally worsens.
Symptoms of COPD include an increased production in mucous, chest tightness, chest heaviness, coughing that lingers, an increase in shortness of breath, and/or wheezing.
Other symptoms of COPD can also include an increase in any of the following:
- An increase in the texture, possibly more sticky, and/or thickness of the sputum
- A color change in sputum, such as green or yellow sputum, or the presence of blood
- Feeling generally more fatigued than you usually are, sleepiness
- A persistent lack of energy or drive
- Edema of the ankles
- Slurred speech
- Vertigo, restlessness
- A decrease in sexual appetite
- Changes in weight, either loss of or gain of
- An increase in headaches, especially in the morning upon awakening
- Periods of confusion and forgetfulness
Symptoms of COPD are a major factor when making a diagnosis of the condition. Other significant factors are your history of lung irritants, especially cigarette smoking.
Confirmation of COPD will be detected by a breathing test with the use of a spirometer. Spirometry testing is a common testing tool in lung functioning. This tool can discover COPD before any major symptoms of COPD arise.
Diagnosis and Treatment of COPD
Other tests performed in the diagnosis of COPD can include bronchodilator reversibility testing, chest x-rays, arterial blood gases, and/or lung diffusion capacity testing.
Proper treatment of COPD can help to control exacerbation of symptoms of COPD. Although there is no cure the proper treatment can be a means to enable comfort and rest and increased quality of life to the COPD patient.
An examination and discussion with your doctor is highly advisable if you feel that you have the beginning of COPD and suffer any of the above symptoms of COPD. Early detection and prompt treatment offer the best means of support therapy.
As always, prevention is the best medicine. It is highly recommended that you do not smoke and if you do smoke to try to take steps to stop before it is too late.
Learning more about the treatment and symptoms of COPD:
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