COPD and its symptoms


By Dr K Prasanna Kumar Reddy
Senior Consultant Pulmonologist

Overview

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is a lung condition that causes shortness of breath and a persistent cough. Although this progressive lung disorder has no cure, it may be treated (and its progression slowed) by following appropriate measures and working closely with your doctor. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the most frequent of these disorders. Both of these disorders are common in patients with COPD. Emphysema causes outward airflow to be obstructed by the gradual destruction of air sacs in the lungs. Bronchitis is characterised by inflammation and constriction of the bronchial passages, allowing mucus to accumulate. COPD, if left untreated, can lead to quicker disease progression, cardiac difficulties, and severe respiratory infections.


Types of COPD

COPD includes two main types:

  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis

Symptoms of COPD

COPD symptoms

COPD makes breathing difficult. At first, the symptoms may be mild, with occasional coughing and shortness of breath. Symptoms might grow more consistent as time goes on, making breathing extremely difficult.

Early symptoms of COPD

COPD symptoms might be quite mild at first. They might be mistaken for a cold. It involves

  • shortness of breath on occasion, especially after exertion.
  • Cough that is mild but recurring
  • Frequently clearing your throat, particularly first thing in the morning

Worsening symptoms

Symptoms might become increasingly severe and difficult to ignore. You may have symptoms as your lungs get increasingly damaged.

  • Even mild forms of exercise, such as going up a flight of stairs, can cause shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing is a form of higher-pitched loud breathing that occurs often during exercise.
  • Exhalations
  • Exhalations
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Coughing for a long time, with or without mucous
  • Need to clear mucus from your lungs every day
  • Colds, flu, or other respiratory diseases on a regular basis
  • Energy deficiency

In later stages of COPD, symptoms may also include:


When To See The Doctor?

You must visit a doctor if you start experiencing severe symptoms of the condition. However, visiting the doctor with early onset of the disease will help you get the right treatment on time, avoiding the risk of it getting more complicated.

Sine it can be difficult to diagnose since it matches characteristics of other diseases, a specialist can help you in obtaining the correct diagnosis. A doctor with further expertise in lung issues can assist you in determining the best course of action. Some pulmonologists specialize in the treatment of COPD specifically. Other health care experts, including respiratory therapists and educators, might be recommended by a pulmonologist to help with your treatment.

The Pulmonologists at Medicover Hospital can help you get the right treatment for any lung infections or conditions like COPD.


Citations

  • https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-(copd)
  • https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/copd
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-copd/
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-copd/symptoms/
  • https://www.cdc.gov/copd/features/copd-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment.html


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