21 Nov 2020
6 Facts about COPD
- Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) is a medical term which describes a group of progressive lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
- Smoking is the main cause of COPD. On the other side, there are many risk factors which increase the incidence of COPD, such as genetics and having asthma.
- The clinical picture of COPD usually include; shortness of breathing (at first with severe physical effort, but later with mild forms of physical effort), tight chest, wheezy chest, chronic or recurrent cough as well as frequent exposure to cold, influenza and other respiratory infections.
- COPD isn't contagious at all.
- Initial diagnosis of COPD includes physical examination as well as checking the personal and family history. After that, to confirm the diagnosis, the following investigations are recommended:
- Spirometry: the patient is asked to take a deep breath, then blowing in a tube connected to the spirometer. This test is done for assessment of lung functions.
- Radiological examination, such as chest X-ray & MRI.
- Arterial blood gases; to identify blood levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
- Management of COPD includes the following measures:
- Medication: it includes bronchodilators, corticosteroids and antibiotics (if there is bacterial infection).
- Oxygen supplementation; if the blood level of oxygen is low.
- Life style modification, it includes; quit smoking, avoiding vigorous physical activity and following a healthy diet plan.
- Lung transplantation: in advanced cases, if all the above measures failed.