Essay about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the result of the obstruction of the airways and of the air out of the lungs as you exhale. Not only is this condition usually permanent with attacks (called exacerbations when the attacks become worse, even life-threatening) occurring over long periods of time (hence the word “chronic” in the name of the condition), it can also become more serious with each attack. COPD is usually caused by three conditions that over time that wreak havoc on the respiratory system. These conditions are: chronic bronchitis, chronic asthma, and emphysema. However, chronic asthma is not as likely to cause COPD as the chronic bronchitis and emphysema (which the chronic bronchitis and emphysema sometimes are BOTH …show more content…
When a person is affected by chronic bronchitis, their airways (which are the bronchial tubes) that have the specific job of carrying air to their lungs become very inflamed and then make an overabundance of mucus. This mucus that is produced then starts to thicken and become plentiful in the airways. When this happens, the mucus then becomes so thick it starts to block the airways. When the airways are blocked, or “obstructed”, it makes it very hard for that affected person to breathe normally and they have to put a lot more energy into trying to breathe at a normal rhythm. Emphysema is probably the worst of the conditions that cause COPD. Every little bit of damage or every symptom that accompanies this condition are usually irreversible. In a healthy person, there are little tiny air sacs in the lungs that have elasticity that bounces right back with each breath that you take. When a person is affected with emphysema, the tiny little air sacs that are supposed to have that perfect elasticity that bounces right back when they get stretched out then loses that elasticity a little bit at a time, over a long period of time. When this happens, those air sacs in the lungs then become stretched out and they do not push the air through the lungs as they should causing less and less air to pass in and out of the lungs. This then causes a shortness of breath. Once this damage and loss of elasticity in the air sacs becomes severe enough, each breath that the affected person
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