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Monday, February 14, 2011

Did you know what COPD is one of the most common lung diseases?

Did you know what COPD IS? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Did you know that Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the most common lung diseases. 

Did you know that there are two main forms of COPD?
  • Chronic bronchitis, defined by a long-term cough with mucus
  • Emphysema, defined by destruction of the lungs over time
Did you know that most people with COPD have a combination of both conditions?

Did you know that smoking is the leading cause of COPD?

Did you know that the more a person smokes, the more likely that person will develop COPD although some people smoke for years and never get COPD? 

Did you know that in rare cases, nonsmokers who lack a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin can develop emphysema? 

Did you know Other risk factors for COPD?
  • Exposure to certain gases or fumes in the workplace
  • Exposure to heavy amounts of secondhand smoke and pollution
  • Frequent use of cooking gas without proper ventilation

Did you know Symptoms of COPD?

  • Cough with mucus
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea) that gets worse with mild activity
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Wheezing
Did you know that symptoms of COPD develop slowly, some people may be unaware that they are sick?
Did you know the best test for COPD is a simple lung function test called spirometry?

Did you know that it involves blowing out as hard as one can into a small machine that tests lung capacity? The test can be interpreted immediately and does not involve exercising, drawing blood, or exposure to radiation.

Did you know that Using a stethoscope to listen to the lungs can also be helpful, although sometimes the lungs sound normal even when COPD is present.
Pictures of the lungs (such as X-rays and CT scans) can be helpful but sometimes look normal even when a person has COPD.
Sometimes it is necessary to do a blood test (call a “blood gas”) to measure the amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.

Did you know there is no cure for COPD? However, there are many things you can do to relieve symptoms and keep the disease from getting worse.

Did you know that persons with COPD must stop smoking? This is the best way to slow down the lung damage.
Medications used to treat COPD include:
  • Inhalers (bronchodilators) to open the airways, such as ipratropium (Atrovent), tiotropium (Spiriva), salmeterol (Serevent), or formoterol (Foradil)
  • Inhaled steroids to reduce lung inflammation
Did you know that in severe cases of flare-ups, you may need to receive steroids by mouth or through a vein (intravenously)?
Did you know that Antibiotics are prescribed during symptom flare-ups, because infections can make COPD worse?
Did you know that Oxygen therapy at home may be needed if a person has a low level of oxygen in their blood?

Did you know that Pulmonary rehabilitation does not cure the lung disease, but it can teach you to breathe in a different way so you can stay active?  Exercise programs such as pulmonary rehabilitation are also important to help maintain muscle strength in the legs so less demand is placed on the lungs when walking. 

Did you  know that these programs also teach people how to use their medicines most effectively?
Did you know that these things you can do to make it easier for yourself around the home to avoid flare-ups?
  • Avoiding very cold air
  • Making sure no one smokes in your home
  • Reducing air pollution by eliminating fireplace smoke and other irritants
Did you know that Surgical treatments may include:
  • Surgery to remove parts of the diseased lung, for some patients with emphysema
  • Lung transplant for severe cases

Did you know this condition is a long-term (chronic) illness? The disease will get worse more quickly if one continues to smoke.

Now if you didn't know, now you know...

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