Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ( Copd ) Essay

1434 WordsMay 13, 20156 Pages
Progressive, persistent airflow limitation and chronic airway inflammation are both characteristics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A combination of diffuse small airway disease and destruction of lung parenchyma, also known as emphysema, are the results that cause persistent airflow limitation. Spirometry is used most often to diagnose. The ratios that are checked are forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second. COPD is diagnosed in stages ranging from mild to very severe. The diagnosis is also based on age and sex of the patient. Age is a factor because due to the fact that as we age the FEV1/FVC declines. (European Lung White Book Chapter 13) Causes of COPD are, but are not limited to, tobacco smoke, occupational working exposure, outdoor and indoor pollutants, genetic factors and early life environmental factors. This disease has become the third leading cause of death in the United States of America. The only proven way to slow the progression is to QUIT smoking. Some studies have shown that giving a bronchodilator has reversed some lung function which benefits the patient. Symptoms of COPD include, but are not limited to, dyspnea upon exertion, chronic cough with or without phlegm, fatigue and weight loss. Some common characteristics of COPD are exacerbations and episodes of acute worsening. Exacerbations are commonly caused by viral and/or bacterial infections and pollution. Multimodal treatments are used and include
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