How to Treat COPD Conditions

COPD therapies include medications and other vital treatments such as pulmonary rehabilitation, smoking or vaping cessation assistance, and immunizations. Medicines only function if you take them as prescribed by your doctor, generally at least once a day. You must also understand how to utilize inhalers and nebulizers appropriately so that the medications reach your lungs. COPD medications work in various ways, and different inhalers and nebulizers are also used in multiple ways. Moreover, ensure to have your Integrated Family Medical Center health care staff explain how to use the medications.

An overview of COPD

COPD is a catch-all term for various progressive lung illnesses. Also, COPD can be caused by emphysema or chronic bronchitis. A COPD diagnosis indicates that you may have one of these lung-damaging illnesses or symptoms of both. COPD can advance gradually, making breathing more complex over time. Additionally, COPD affects about 30 million individuals in the United States. Half of those who have it are entirely ignorant of it. COPD, if left untreated, can hasten disease development, cause cardiac difficulties, and aggravate respiratory infections.

Types of COPD

1.  Chronic bronchitis: Chronic bronchitis inflames the bronchial tubes, which transport air to and from the lungs. As a result, the tubes enlarge, and mucus (phlegm or “snot”) accumulates along the lining. The accumulation narrows the aperture of the tube, making it difficult to move air into and out of your lungs. Mucus is generally carried out of your airways by cilia, which are little, hair-like structures on the inside of your bronchial tubes. However, the irritation caused by chronic bronchitis or smoking harms them. Hence, mucus cannot be cleared because the cilia are destroyed.

2.  Emphysema: The alveoli are the walls of the air sacs, and the tiny airways are damaged in emphysema. The sacs lose their form and capacity to recoil during the expiratory stage of the breathing process due to this injury, resulting in trapped air in the lung. This trapped air proceeds to enlarge the alveoli, causing an airway blockage cycle to occur. These modifications eventually cause the lungs to become hyperinflated, reducing gas exchange. This makes it harder for people to efficiently breathe and oxygenate their blood while decreasing their capacity to expel carbon dioxide from circulation.

Difference between asthma and COPD

Asthma and COPD are similar in many aspects, including symptoms such as shortness of breath and restricted airways. Conversely, COPD is a chronic and progressive disease. Allergens frequently trigger asthma attacks. The primary cause of COPD is smoking. Furthermore, people who have asthma do not necessarily develop COPD. COPD patients do not necessarily have asthma. However, both of these respiratory diseases are conceivable. If you have both disorders, you must address both.

Emphysema and severe bronchitis are the two most common kinds of COPD. COPD is classified into four phases, ranging from moderate to severe. Some of the symptoms are persistent cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Long-term exposure to tobacco smoke is a crucial cause of both kinds of COPD; hence doctors strongly advise persons with the illnesses to quit smoking. Furthermore, lifestyle modifications such as stopping smoking or treatments such as medicines and oxygen therapy might be beneficial. Call Kalpana Desai, MD, or book your consultation online to learn more about COPD treatments.