If you are suffering from increased breathlessness and coughing in the long term, be careful and it could be Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD affects almost 30 million American people. Unfortunately, more than half of them do not know it. Check out the following three fundamental points to get an overall understanding.
COPD is an umbrella term for describing progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. It’s often a mix of chronic bronchitis and emphysema, characterized by increasing breathlessness.
2. Signs and symptoms
The symptoms generally consist of the following four:
Frequent coughing (with and without sputum)
Tightness in the chest
3. Common causes
Here are the top three causes for developing COPD:
People over 40 are more likely to get the COPD, especially those with a history of smoking. Inhaling pollutants should always be responsible for the lung problems, such as the smoking from cigarettes, pipes and cigars, as well as second-hand smoke.
Although smoking doesn’t definitely lead to COPD, almost 90% COPD patients have smoked.
If you are exposed to harmful pollutants in the workplace or at home for a long term, COPD may occur later. So you’d better avoid harmful lung irritants include dust, fumes, secondhand smoke and even the organic cooking fuel.
Genetics also play a role in the development of COPD. If you have little contact with smoke and secondhand smoke, as well as a clear living environment, your COPD may come from your gene.
Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD) is to be blame. Without the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin protein, your lung will be hurt by white blood cells. So a test for Alpha-1 is recommended.
Now you are aware of what COPD is and how it forms. So we need to prevent this chronic lung disease with a healthy lifestyle and a specialized test.