The Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) collaborates with global COPD patient groups and medical experts to organise World COPD Day. The topic for the 2023 World COPD Day, which falls on November 15th, is "Breathing is Life - Act Earlier."
Never has it been more crucial to prioritise lung health! We don't appreciate our lungs enough. Your lungs are essential to our survival, thus taking care of them should be your first priority. Avoiding tobacco products, air pollution, and occupational exposures, along with maintaining an active lifestyle through pulmonary rehabilitation or regular exercise, can all help maintain healthy lungs. Furthermore, maintaining a strong immune system, attending doctor's appointments, and taking prescription drugs as directed can all contribute to lung health.
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a long-term illness marked by restricted airways and difficulty breathing out, which traps air in the lungs. characterised by coughing up phlegm, wheezing, chronic and worsening dyspnea.
Chronic: refers to a persistent and long-lasting ailment.
Obstructive: the airways are constricted, making it more difficult to exhale rapidly and causing trapped air in the chest
Pulmonary: it has an impact on the lungs
Disease: This is a health issue
What causes COPD?
Long-term exposure to irritants that harm the lungs and airways is often the cause of COPD. Inhaled irritant exposure may be a contributing factor to COPD. These include dust or chemical vapours from the job or surroundings, air pollution, and secondhand smoking. The primary cause of COPD is tobacco use. In places like New Delhi, Mumbai & Kolkata, the prevalence of COPD is increasing due to poor air quality. Additionally, commonplace items like mosquito repellent coils used at home have been linked to COPD; a single night's exposure to these products is comparable to smoking 100 cigarettes.
Symptoms of COPD
The onset of severe lung damage triggers the onset of COPD symptoms, which often worsen over time, particularly if smoking continues. Wheezing, chest tightness, breathing problems, respiratory infections, exhaustion, inadvertent weight loss, and swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs are some of the symptoms of COPD. Furthermore, a few symptoms can be Covid-19 overlapping. Therefore, it's crucial to see a doctor in order to get a proper diagnosis. Daily tasks will often become more difficult as the symptoms worsen over time, however medication can help reduce the course.
How is it diagnosed?
In order to diagnosis chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which encompasses emphysema and chronic bronchitis, medical practitioners will assess symptoms and obtain a full medical history from their patients based on spirometry (lung function tests), risk factors, and symptoms.
How is COPD treated?
The two primary pharmacological medications employed are inhaled corticosteroids and bronchodilators. Depending on the kind of COPD, different medication combinations are employed. Most prescriptions for the medications are for inhalation forms (nebulization, inhalers). For the treatment of severe COPD, there are currently surgical alternatives such as enhanced bronchoscopic procedures and lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS).
What can you do to manage your COPD?
When you have chronic bronchitis, there are several therapies that can improve your quality of life. It combines prescription treatments, exercise, and alterations in lifestyle.
Regular exercise and movement can enhance your fitness, breathing, and overall quality of life. Breathlessness-inducing activities shouldn't be avoided. By building muscle, regular exercise can help reverse this.
Breathing Control: There are postures and techniques that can help you feel more in control of your breathing and help you deal with shortness of breath. See your respiratory physiotherapist or nurse to determine what is most effective for you.
A balanced diet and appropriate weight Your body gets the nutrients it needs from a balanced diet to function properly and stay at a healthy weight. If required, your doctor or nurse can assist you in determining what your healthy weight is and recommend you to a local programme or dietician.
Emotional well-being: A vital component of general health is emotional wellness. Individuals who have been hospitalised, have low oxygen levels, or have more severe COPD are more likely to experience anxiety and sadness. You can get treatment to help you. Numerous more people have recovered from anxiety and sadness. Both of those are perfectly typical responses to having COPD. Consult a medical practitioner regarding prescription drugs and counselling.
How to keep your lungs healthy?
The greatest medication is prevention, and maintaining lung health is far more effective than attempting to restore them after anything goes wrong. Avoiding tobacco products, air pollution, and occupational exposures, along with maintaining an active lifestyle through pulmonary rehabilitation or regular exercise, can all help maintain healthy lungs. Furthermore, maintaining a strong immune system, attending doctor's appointments, and taking prescription drugs as directed can all contribute to lung health.