Fundamental Lifestyle Changes for COPD Patients
Shortness of breath is a major concern in healthcare today. Given that environmental factors, including unhealthy lifestyles, play a key role in causing these diseases, massive changes are to be expected on many levels. From voluntary smoking to unconscious contact with polluted air, the action plan must take a diverse approach. The WHO confirms that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death worldwide, causing 3.23 million deaths in 2019. At the same time, the WHO states that over 80% of these deaths occurred in low and middle income countries (LMIC). . Meta-analyzes of facts about COPD and asthma somehow reflect the severity of diseases and the deteriorating condition of the world. In order to deal with the diseases, one must be well informed about the causes and remedies of the diseases:
What is COPD
COPD is a progressive lung disease where chronic inflammation may cause lung damage, which manifests itself in symptoms like shortness of breath, severe cough, etc. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the most common types of COPD seen in patients, and in many cases, patients suffer from both types. It’s worth noting that COPD is an irreversible disease. A COPD patient may experience unnecessary tiredness or exhaustion all the time.
Symptoms of COPD: –
- shortness of breath
- With or without mucous cough
- Unnecessary tiredness or exhaustion
- The impaired capacity of the lungs
The predominant symptoms may worsen as the patient’s condition worsens.
Causes of COPD: –
- Smoke:- Smoking is dangerous to general health, it also causes COPD. Chain smokers are at high risk of COPD. Smoking is considered to be one of the leading causes of COPD. It is also unfortunate that there is also a risk of COPD due to smoking around passive smokers. In this regard, more consideration should be given to children in particular.
- Air pollution: – This is one of the main causes of shortness of breath around the world. Little did we know that the toxic elements in the environment are unwittingly damaging our lungs and harming our general wellbeing. It should be mentioned here that health-conscious people are also exposed to this, which is a shame. It certainly needs to be dealt with on a broader level. It takes an integrative approach.
- Bad lung growth:– Difficulty breathing during childbirth or problems with the lungs during growth lead to
- Environmental pollution in the workplace: – Exposure to occupational pollution means people who work in factories or other industrial facilities where they are exposed to toxic gases are susceptible to COPD.
- Family history:– Family history of COPD can also be a key factor in its occurrence. Therefore, keep track of your family history of illnesses and live your lifestyle accordingly.
Given the above causes, we really need to think about our pattern of life, because people with healthy habits are also at risk of COPD due to other people’s ideas about development. We need to rethink our ideas about development that puts health and wellbeing at risk.
Difference Between Asthma and COPD?
In general, COPD is mistakenly mistaken for asthma. Although both are respiratory diseases that can be equally serious for patients, and both have almost similar initial symptoms and complaints such as shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, congestion in the chest. However, COPD mainly develops after almost 40 years of age, while asthma can occur at any stage. The main difference between the two diseases is also that COPD is irreversible while asthma can be cured and COPD is a progressive disease while asthma occurs due to allergic reactions.
Treatment of COPD: –
Although COPD is irreversible, early intervention is key to improving quality of life. For diagnostic purposes, COPD is diagnosed based on its recurring symptoms; there is no specific test to confirm its existence. The patient’s medical history, pollutants are checked, and some breathing tests like CT scan, chest x-rays, and blood tests are done.
As for treatment, once the COPD is confirmed, the type of treatment will be decided based on the severity of the disease. This can include surgery, regular medication, oxygen therapy, and so on. The advanced stages of COPD can also lead to hospitalization.
Prevention of COPD: –
Stop smoking:- Many studies confirm that just quitting smoking can make a significant difference in terms of a person’s lungs and general well-being. So get out of that habit today and experience the remarkable difference.
Reduce exposure to chemicals: especially if you are already at a higher risk for respiratory disease you need to avoid such workplaces and environments. Ensure your full safety when working with masks and other defense techniques, etc.
Work out:- Apart from building muscle, daily exercise is very important for the proper functioning of the lungs. Add a series of exercises to your daily life and be easy on your lungs.
Healthy lifestyle:- Nothing can reduce the risk of disease more effectively than a proper, healthy lifestyle. Follow a series of exercises daily, eat nutritious foods, keep your water intake high, and keep your sleep cycle going.
Routine controls: – As mentioned above, family history of illnesses can increase your risk of suffering from a number of illnesses. Therefore, timely checks can help with early detection and reduce the risk; Routine exams can also help identify developing diseases at an early stage.
Pay special attention to children in relation to the above.
This article was written by Dr. Nitin Rathi, Senior Consultant – Pulmonology, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi
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