What is COPD?

What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as “COPD”, is a general term covering lower respiratory tract conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Since it is known that the most common cause of COPD in a person is the use of tobacco and tobacco products, avoiding such harmful habits is very important for the prevention of COPD. At the same time, you can follow the rest of the article to get more information about this disease, which can be quite severe symptoms of covid-19 disease.

What is COPD?

COPD, which is used to refer to a group of progressive and chronic lung conditions, is a definition that includes emphysema, which is characterized by the destruction of small air sacs in the lungs, and chronic bronchitis, which is characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the bronchial airways. Initially mild inability to breathe properly can progress to symptoms such as irritating cough and shortness of breath as the COPD condition worsens. In more advanced stages, the symptoms become persistent and breathing becomes very difficult.

What Causes COPD?

In developed countries, the most common cause of COPD diagnosis is tobacco and tobacco product use. Apart from tobacco use or exposure to tobacco smoke, long-term exposure to various chemical particles due to work or living in areas with heavy air pollution are also among the conditions that can result in COPD. Under normal conditions, inhaled oxygen-rich air travels through two main lung structures called the trachea (windpipe) and bronchi. The air that passes from here to the lungs is distributed into small airways called bronchioles and delivered to small air sacs called alveoli. Alveolar structures are the terminal parts of the lung rich in small vessels. In this way, on the one hand, oxygen is taken from the inhaled air and passed into the bloodstream, and on the other hand, carbon dioxide gas produced as a result of metabolic activity is taken into the lungs to be released into the atmosphere. The expulsion of breathing air is achieved through the natural elasticity of the bronchial tubes and alveolar structures. In COPD patients, due to the loss of this flexibility, some air is trapped in the lung and is not expelled with exhalation. In emphysema, one of the two main conditions of COPD, the thin walls and elastic fibers of the alveoli are damaged. As a result of this damage, the small airways deflate and air exchange is impaired. In chronic bronchitis, another condition fundamentally related to COPD, the inside of the bronchial tube structures narrows due to long-term inflammation and the accumulation of an obstructive secretion called mucus occurs inside them. Caution should be exercised as patients may develop a persistent cough in order to expel these mucus plugs. COPD

What Should COPD Patients Pay Attention To?

  In addition to appropriate diagnosis and treatment, COPD patients can provide some relief from their complaints with various lifestyle changes that they can implement with the knowledge and advice of their doctor. Preventing tobacco use or exposure to tobacco smoke, eating a balanced and healthy diet in accordance with body needs, exercising adequately and at a level that the person can tolerate, and avoiding infectious agents that affect the respiratory tract are among the various behaviors that can be done in this context. Unlike various other conditions, for COPD the mechanisms of the disease and how to prevent it are quite clear. It should also be noted that people in the initial stage of COPD may not have any complaints due to the slow course of the disease. In particular, not starting to use tobacco and tobacco products, which are closely related to COPD, or abandoning this harmful habit if it is present, is the main practice that can be done to prevent COPD. COPD is a condition that irreversibly affects the lungs and makes breathing difficult. Although there is no current treatment method to eliminate this condition, it should be kept in mind that the progression of the disease, the degree of complaints and the quality of life of the person can be positively changed with various medical approaches and lifestyle changes. We wish you a healthy day.  
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