COPD: Early Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore
Do you ever experience shortness of breath or chronic cough while doing your day-to-day activities? These might be signs of a respiratory illness, i.e., COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
"What is COPD exactly, and how does it escalate?" Continue reading to know more about this disease and how to prevent it.
What is COPD?
COPD is a long-term chronic inflammatory lung disease that makes it difficult for you to breathe by obstructing airflow from the lungs. Respiratory conditions, emphysema, asthma, and chronic bronchitis, are some of the most common conditions that can lead to COPD.
In 2015, the prevalence of COPD increased by 44.2 percent to 174.5 million individuals globally, compared to 1990.
The chronic cough that you are ignoring might be a sign of COPD.
Around the world, more than 65 million people are affected with moderate or severe COPD. With increasing lifespans and increasing pollution levels, the number of patients with COPD will continue to rise over the next 50 years.
Many people don't recognise the symptoms as a specific disease and think it's just the effect of old age. However, the most common symptom of COPD is experiencing shortness of breath during everyday activities. Smoker's cough, excessive and chronic mucus production, wheezing, blueness of the lips, and fatigue are some other symptoms that could indicate you are suffering from COPD. Smoking is one of the most common irritants that trigger the disease, and more patients with COPD are found in countries with higher levels of pollution. Left untreated, COPD will get progressively worse, significantly shortening lifespans.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately for proper treatment and care. Unfortunately, COPD symptoms don't often appear until significant lung damage occurs.
How to cope with COPD?
Although COPD is an incurable condition, a patient can maintain a high quality of life for a long time by diagnosing and treating it early. Proper management and being prepared can help cope with the condition and control symptoms. Fortunately, the only treatment proven to extend life is supplemental oxygen therapy.
What is oxygen therapy?
Normal air is made up of 21% oxygen. A healthy human breathes in this air and absorbs enough oxygen to keep oxygen saturation above 95%. However, when our lungs are damaged due to COPD, or other chronic respiratory diseases, we need to breathe in pure oxygen for our oxygen saturation levels to stay at a healthy rate. This pure oxygen can be provided through innovative respiratory medical devices.
Oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen that flows into your lungs and bloodstream by providing supplemental medical-grade oxygen. The reason is simply that your body needs oxygen to do everything: digesting food, daily household chores, going to the grocery store, and more. With moderate COPD, you will likely require supplemental oxygen to go about your everyday life with ease and keep the disease from worsening.
The Dos and Don'ts of COPD
COPD is a serious disease. However, by treating it early, you will significantly improve your quality of life and positively affect your length of life. Pulmonologists (respiratory specialist doctors) and other trained medical professionals can recommend reliable medical equipment and prescribe therapies to keep you healthy for longer.
● Do keep a check on your routine habits. It can help you identify, prevent and stay cautious about COPD.
● Do exercise regularly after consulting with your doctor.
● Don't smoke or expose yourself to pollutants and irritants.
● Don't ignore the early signs. Early diagnosis and treatment can help.
A common condition that you might overlook can turn out to be a permanent chronic disease in your respiratory system. When you are aware of the adversity, you can prevent it, treat it quickly and keep healthy!