Factual Essay About Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE

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INTRODUCTION

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) presents significant challenges to a person's ability to carry out functional tasks and participate in social networks. Such factors are widely recognized as contributing to a person's sense of self identity, health and well-being. (Kerr, A, and C Ballinger 2010) Although there is no cure, the symptoms of COPD can be managed and damage to your lungs can be slowed down. If you smoke, quitting is the most important thing you can do to help your lungs.

WHAT IS CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE?

In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the airways and tissues of the lungs gradually become damaged over time, causing
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(Kerr and Ballinger, 2010)
Another very effective test used to monitor COPD is called the six minute walking test. The patient is required to walk on a flat surface at a pace which suits them for a period of six minutes. The patient is kept informed about the completion time remaining, but no encouragement is offered. The patient is permitted to stop and rest at any time during the study. The distance which the patient has travelled is measured and is a very accurate index of the state of health and effectiveness of therapy. (Kerr and Ballinger, 2010)
HOW IS IT TREATED?
The goals of COPD treatment are: 1. to prevent further deterioration in lung function;

2. to alleviate symptoms;

3. To improve performance of daily activities and quality of life.

The treatment strategies include: 1. quitting cigarette smoking;

2. taking medications to dilate airways (bronchodilators) and decrease airway inflammation;

3. vaccination against flu influenza and pneumonia;

4. regular oxygen supplementation; and

5. Pulmonary rehabilitation.

Quitting cigarette smoking: The most effective and important treatment for COPD is to quit cigarette smoking. Patients who continue to smoke will have rapid deterioration in lung function in comparison to those who quit. The aging process itself can cause a very slow decline in lung function. Cigarette smoking can result in a

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