COPD- Demanding Fresh Air

Unable to climb few stairs? It could be because of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease... Want to know more? Read ahead...

                                                          

    COPD- Demanding Fresh Air

    Every year the 21st of November is dedicated to create awareness about Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which affects millions across the  world. To understand the importance of the day we need to first know what is this disease about.


    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

    It is not a single disease but, it is an umbrella term used to describe chronic lung diseases that can lead to difficulty in breathing. It makes a person prone to serious illness. Terms such as 'chronic bronchitis'(swelling of the tubes that carry air to and fro from lungs) and 'emphysema' (damage to air sacs in the lungs) are no longer used as they have been included within COPD. 


    The threats

    As we now understand what is COPD the next step is to know the factors that can cause it, as 

    awareness is the key to survival!

    lTobacco smoke (The primary cause)

    lIndoor air pollution (such as smoke from the fuel used for cooking and heating)

    lOutdoor air pollution

    lOccupational dusts and chemicals (vapours, irritants, and fumes)

    lFrequent lower respiratory infections during childhood.

    lLong term asthma

    lMaternal smoking can affect the child.

    lAdvancing age 


    The indications

    What if we are suffering from COPD? Can knowing the risk factors alone help? No! Let us look into the symptoms of COPD so that we can consult a doctor before it’s too late!

    lBreathlessness (need for air)

    lDifficulty to perform daily activities (walking and climbing stairs)  

    lLong standing cough with or without sputum production 

    lWheezing (a typical sound produced while breathing) 


    The unwelcomed guests

    COPD brings along unwanted disease or disorders with it which could be more serious and painful.

    Let us have an overview of them.

    lHeart diseases (like disease of the arteries of the heart)

    lStroke

    lLung cancer

    lMetabolic disorders (such as diabetes and obesity)

    lBone diseases ( such as osteoporosis or porous bones)

    lCachexia (weight loss and tiredness)

    lAnaemia (Low hemoglobin count)

    lDepression 

    lDecline of memory and thinking skills


    Few Stats and Some Facts

    lGlobally, prevalence of COPD is reported to be 2.5 crore.

    lAs per world health organization, COPD could become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030.

    lCOPD caused 31 lakh deaths in 2015 (5% of all deaths globally in that year).

    lMore than 90% of deaths due to COPD occur in low and middle­income countries.

    lCOPD may increase in the coming years due to higher smoking prevalence.

    lMost cases of COPD can be prevented by early stoppage of smoking. 

    lCOPD is not curable! However, treatment can improve the quality of life by reducing the symptoms. Also, it can bring down the chances of death. 

    lThe disease affects men and women equally!


            “Keep the smoke at bay for a traffic free airway”


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