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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Essay

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD, is a disease affecting the respiratory system that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. It is caused by long-term exposure to irritating gasses, with cigarette smoke being the most common cause. Contributing factors of COPD include emphysema, a condition where the alveoli at the end of the bronchioles are destroyed as a result of exposure to irritating gasses, and chronic bronchitis, which is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the alveoli. As well, those who develop COPD are at a higher risk for heart disease, lung cancer, and various other conditions than those without the disease. Generally speaking, symptoms of COPD do not usually appear…show more content…
The longer you smoke and the more packs you smoke, the greater the risk. Of course, it is not just cigarette smokers who are at risk for COPD – those who smoke pipes, cigars, and marijuana are as well. Other risk factors are having a job that exposes you to dust, chemicals, and other irritants, genetics (though this is uncommon, as the genetic deficiency of alpha-1-antitrypsin is rare), and age (symptoms usually begin in people age thirty-five to forty, as COPD is a slow-progressing disease). If you are diagnosed with COPD, you may not need a specialist – your Primary Care Physician will most likely be the one to treat…show more content…
Meaning you are better off trying to prevent something from happening than trying to cure the after-effects. The same goes for COPD. As a matter of fact, COPD has “a clear cause and a clear path of prevention” (Mayo Clinic Staff. (2015, July 21). COPD Prevention - Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/copd/basics/prevention/con-20032017). This mysterious “clear” thing? Smoking. The best way to prevent COPD is to quit if you are already a smoker, and to not start if you are not. Even those who already have the disease may be told to stop smoking as it is the only way to prevent COPD from getting worse. As well, if a person is working in a position where they may be exposed to chemical fumes and dust they may want to start wearing a mask if they have not
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