Smok­ing, pol­lu­tion cause of chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­or­der

Hindustan Times (Gurgaon) - City - - Lifestyle - Writ­ten by: Dr Arunesh Ku­mar, Se­nior Con­sul­tant and Head, Pul­monology, Paras Hos­pi­tals, Gur­gaon. For more ad­vice call: +91 9650505523

In India, more than 10 mil­lion cases of Chronic Ob­struc­tive Pul­monary Dis­ease (COPD) are re­ported an­nu­ally. The lead­ing causes of the res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease, usu­ally af­fect­ing older pa­tients, and now the younger pop­u­la­tion are smok­ing and pol­lu­tion.

What are the symp­toms of COPD?

The com­mon symp­toms of COPD in­clude dif­fi­culty in breath­ing, cough, mu­cus (spu­tum) pro­duc­tion and wheez­ing. Peo­ple with COPD are at in­creased risk of de­vel­op­ing heart dis­ease, lung can­cer and a va­ri­ety of other con­di­tions. COPD is also a col­lec­tive term used for a group of lung dis­ease which causes block­age in air­flow and cause more sever­ity of dis­ease. Em­phy­sema, chronic bron­chi­tis, re­frac­tory (non-re­versible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiec­ta­sis are some types of dis­ease that cause lung dam­age and dif­fi­culty in breath­ing. The other causes of COPD in­clude in­hal­ing pol­lu­tants which in­clude smok­ing (cig­a­rettes, pipes, cigars, etc), pas­sive smok­ing with fumes, chem­i­cals in work en­vi­ron­ments. Ge­net­ics may also play a role in an in­di­vid­ual’s de­vel­op­ment of COPD—even if the per­son has never smoked or has ever been ex­posed to strong lung ir­ri­tants in the work­place.

What to do if you are suf­fer­ing from the signs and symp­toms of COPD?

If you are a chronic smoker or an old age per­son and are suf­fer­ing from the signs and symp­toms of COPD, it is ad­vised that you con­sult a pul­mo­nolo­gist at the ear­li­est. The chest spe­cial­ist shall rec­om­mend a few tests to con­firm the di­ag­no­sis and gauge the stage of the dis­ease, such as, spirom­e­try test, imag­ing tests and ar­te­rial blood gas test.

How is COPD Treated?

Treat­ments of COPD in­clude med­i­ca­tion, oxy­gen ther­apy and surgery fol­lowed by changes in life­style. Med­i­ca­tion Treat­ment: Bron­chodila­tors are medicines that help re­lax the mus­cles of the air­ways so that you can breathe eas­ier. They’re usu­ally taken through an in­haler. Gluco- cor­ti­cos­teroids can be added to re­duce in­flam­ma­tion in the air­ways. Oxy­gen Ther­apy Treat­ment: If blood oxy­gen lev­els are low, oxy­gen is given through a mask or nasal prongs to help breathe bet­ter. Surgery: It is re­served for se­vere COPD or when other treat­ments have failed. There are few surg­eries like bul­lec­tomy, lung vol­ume re­duc­tion surgery, etc that are con­sid­ered in se­lect pa­tients when the dis­ease is at an ad­vanced stage. To lower risk of other res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions, ask your doc­tor to ad­vise a yearly flu shot, pneu­mo­coc­cal vac­cine, and a tetanus booster that in­cludes pro­tec­tion from per­tus­sis or whoop­ing cough.

Dis­claimer: The ve­rac­ity of any health claim made in the above ar­ti­cle is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the con­cerned hos­pi­tal/doc­tor.

PHOTO: HTCS

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