Beyond Smoking: Understanding And Treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Beyond Smoking: Understanding And Treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
COPD May Rise Amidst Poor Air Quality: Doctor Emphasizes On Timely Intervention And Support

For those facing challenges with inhalation therapy, nebulized treatments become significant, especially during acute flare-ups.

In the bustling landscape of India’s health concerns, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) emerges as a silent killer, affecting lives and often evading the spotlight it deserves. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), COPD is the second leading cause of death and disability in India, with a staggering 37.8 million reported cases. Dr. Neel Thakkar, Senior Consultant Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician, Sterling Hospitals, Vadodara, explains why this respiratory juggernaut, characterized by airflow obstruction leading to breathing difficulties, demands our attention and understanding.

COPD, Often Hidden In Mystery

It is a collective term encompassing emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema inflicts permanent damage on the delicate air sacs in the lungs, while chronic bronchitis involves persistent coughing with mucus due to damaged airways. The leading culprit? Cigarette smoking is a habit that accelerates the deterioration of lung function. However, COPD’s web extends beyond smoking, with culprits including exposure to indoor pollution, outdoor air pollution, and workplace hazards, particularly in occupations like farming.

COPD Doesn’t Strike Suddenly

Its symptoms appear gradually, affecting lung function and general quality of life. Everyday tasks become Herculean endeavours, with people finding ordinary tasks like climbing stairs or cooking meals extremely difficult. The discreet nature of COPD is highlighted by the possibility of flare-ups or lung attacks, which can demand hospitalization and lengthy recovery periods.

COPD Diagnosis Necessitates More Than A Casual Examination

A detailed history of respiratory symptoms and prior addictions, including smoking tobacco, exposure to indoor pollution and other exposures, sets the basis for spirometry, a critical diagnostic test. The gold standard for COPD diagnosis, this lung function test assesses lung volumes and capacities, stage of the disease and response to therapy. The patient’s history and clinical examination with a well-performed spirometry are vital to deciding on individual treatment.

While COPD’s Damage Is Irreversible

Its progression can be managed with a two-pronged approach lifestyle adjustments and targeted medical intervention. Inhaled medications, including controller and reliever therapy, taking centre stage, and relaxing obstructed airways, are tailored as per the individual patient – the correct inhaler dosage, technique, type and proper usage, often with a spacer device, is essential to have the best outcomes. For those facing challenges with inhalation therapy, nebulized treatments become significant, especially during acute flare-ups. Additionally, programs like ‘Pulmonary Rehabilitation’ can be game-changers, offering a good nutrition plan, breathing exercises, incentive spirometry, regular flu vaccination, and counselling to ensure compliance to enhance overall lung health.





Post source: The Health Site

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