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COPD COPD is a term used for Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This is an “obstructive disease”, meaning that airflow coming out of the lungs during exhalation is blocked. The blockage of airflow with COPD ,makes it very difficult for a person to breathe. Over time, COPD get progressively worse because doctors have not yet found a cure. COPD affects more Than 5% of the adult population, and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States and worldwide. 4 With COPD, a person will usually have two main medical conditions that limit airflow. These conditions are known as emphysema and chronic obstructive bronchitis. Emphysema causes the elasticity of the lung tissue to be lost. The alveolar walls…show more content…
Although there are many contributing factors to COPD, the main contributor is cigarette smoking. Across the world, cigarette smoking is the most commonly encountered risk factor for COPD. 5 Cigarette smoking leads to changes in the lung cells, which in turn, causes swelling and inflammation of the airways and lungs. As stated earlier, these damages cannot be reversed, only treated. There are several other options for treatment of COPD. These will be patient dependent based on the severity of the disease, and other general medical conditions. Majority of patients are treated with medications such as bronchodilators, systemic corticosteroids, inhaled corticosteroids, and antibiotics. Oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, managing complications by immunization, and surgery are all treatment options as well. 7 Although there are many treatment options, the most effective available treatment for COPD is smoking cessation.6 The symptoms of COPD can be similar to other types of medical conditions such as cold, flu, asthma, etc. Usually COPD symptoms include the following: * An ongoing cough, or a cough with significant amounts of increased mucus production ( this is often called "smoker's cough") * Dyspnea, Shortness of breath, especially with physical activity *

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