Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Gone are the days, when only smokers were at high risk of
developing COPD, with the change in the environment non-smokers are also at the
risk because the air quality that we breathe today is toxic. The presence of
various nano particles like PM 2.5, PM10, etc in the air hampers the
functionality of our lungs.
These nano particles can lead to various life threatening
respiratory diseases like asthma, COPD, interstitial Lung Disease, pneumonia,
According to WHO, by the year 2030 COPD is going to be the
third leading cause of death all across the globe. Every year, around 3 million
of new cases of lung diseases get registered from all across the globe, out of
which more than 20% cases are from India. Nearly 142.09 in every one lakh are
dying due to one form of lung disease or another giving India the questionable distinction
of ranking first in lung disease deaths all across the globe.
Recently National Health and Nutrition Examination conducted
a survey and the results were quite surprising which shows that smoking is not
the only cause of COPD but industrial pollution, transportation pollution,
burning of waste materiel, etc. also increases the risk of this disease.
OBSTRCUTIVE PULMONARY DAY:
Third Wednesday of every November is observed as World
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Day, all across the globe. The day
aims to create and raise the awareness about the disease and its preventive
India is changing not only in demographic, economic profile,
pollution but also in terms of health burden, and disease pattern.
As mentioned by WHO (World Health Organization) database
updated on January 20th 2011 it showed that more than 10 million
cases are there for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in India every year,
which is amongst the highest in the world.
On this day let’s join our hand together in the fight against
this life threatening disease.
WHAT IS COPD?
It is a progressive lung disease which makes it hard to
breathe. This disease also includes chronic bronchitis, refractory asthma,
emphysema, and some form of bronchiectasis.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is mainly of two types:
Chronic bronchitis includes long term cough with mucus Emphysema includes damage to the lungs over time
Mostly people who are suffering from COPD have combination of
both the conditions.
MAJOR CAUSE FOR THIS
Smokers or former smokers are more prone to this disease.
Inhaling heavy amount of second hand smoke and pollution
Exposure to Fumes, chemicals and dust in the work environment
Genetic can be another important cause or developing COPD
SYMPTOMS OF COPD:
Coughing with lot of mucus
Changing the color of lips or fingernails to blue or grey
indicates low oxygen level in blood
Fastening of the heartbeats
Infections in the respiratory system
Trouble in breathing
Breathing with a rattling sound (Wheezing)
Many people believe that the problem of breathing and coughing
is due to their aging, but they are not aware that these are the symptoms of
COPD as in the early stage it is quite difficult to diagnose this disease. The symptoms of
this disease are only noticeable once it reaches to it more developed stage. So
if you find these kinds of symptoms kindly visit your doctor for the checkup.
METHOD OF DIAGNOSIS:
Spiromerty is a lung test which can be done to diagnose COPD.
This tests measures the intensity and capacity of air a person can breathe out.
Imaging test of lungs like X-rays and CT scans can be helpful
to detect COPD. In X-rays there are less chances of COPD getting diagnosed as
the lungs seems to be normal whereas a CT scan will show the signs of COPD.
There is no permanent cure for COPD but there are several
ways which can help to keep the disease getting worse like:
The smokers need to quit smoking so the severity of the
disorder can be handled.
Medicines like inhaler, anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce
swelling in the airways, and certain long-term antibiotics.
Oxygen therapy to get the required amount of oxygen supply in
“Don’t ignore the symptoms, love your lungs. I urge every
potential sufferer to get their lung tested and the rest to maximize the
efforts to stay safe from polluted air. Making changes to your lifestyle can
reduce your risk of developing COPD. Each one of us has the responsibility to
raise awareness on COPD.” says Dr. Deepak Talwar, Chairman – Metro Centre for
Respiratory Diseases (MCRD), Metro Group of Hospitals.