Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Below you will find more information about Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the continual obstruction of the brochial airflow, which is usually occurring with chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. It leads to persistent decrease in airflow rate from one's lungs when they exhale. The disease is second to heart disease, and often affects men than women.

Diagnosis

The disease is diagnosed through history of long-term productive cough. A physical examination and tests, as well as chest X-ray also help diagnose the illness.

Treatment

A very important treatment is to discontinue smoking. This will help lessen cough, reduce sputum amount, and slows down the development of breath shortness. Avoiding exposure to airborne irritants is also advised, such as air pollution and second-hand smoke.

Symptoms and Signs

Early signs of the illness include occasional coughing, daily cough in the mornings, slight breath shortness, and severe cough due to respiratory infection. Some people experience extreme weight loss due to breath shortness that makes eating hard. Fragile parts of the lungs can rupture allowing air leak from lung to pleural space, known as pneumothorax.

Causes

The major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is smoking, even if only approximately fifteen percent of smokers get the disease. There is also a possibility of heredity cause.

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