What is COPD and How to manage it?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of Lung Diseases that cause breathing problems. It primarily affects your airways and lungs, making it difficult to breathe. COPD is a progressive disease, meaning it worsens over time. While there’s no cure, treatments can help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.

It’s important to distinguish COPD from asthma, another common Lung Disease. While both cause breathing difficulties, they differ in key aspects. Asthma is characterized by inflamed airways that narrow, causing wheezing and shortness of breath. These symptoms often come and go, and medications can provide quick relief. In COPD, the airways are damaged and lose their elasticity, leading to persistent breathing problems that worsen over time.

Symptoms of COPD

Early signs of COPD can be subtle, and often mistaken for ageing. Here are some common symptoms to watch out for:

  • Shortness of breath, especially during activity
  • Chronic cough, sometimes productive with mucus (phlegm)
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Unintentional weight loss in later stages

Causes of COPD

Smoking is the leading cause of COPD, responsible for up to 90% of cases. Long-term exposure to irritants like secondhand smoke, air pollution, and dust at work can also contribute. In rare cases, a genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency can cause COPD.

Treatment Options at Supreme Hospital

While COPD is irreversible, Supreme Hospital’s pulmonology department offers a range of treatments to manage symptoms and slow disease progression. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Smoking Cessation: Quitting smoking is the single most critical step in managing COPD. Supreme Hospital offers comprehensive smoking cessation programs to help you quit for good.
  • Medications: Bronchodilators are inhalers that relax the airways, making breathing easier. Other medications can help thin mucus and reduce inflammation.
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation: This program combines exercise training, education, and support to help manage symptoms and improve your daily activities.
  • Oxygen Therapy: In severe cases, supplemental oxygen may be needed to increase oxygen levels in the blood.
  • Surgery: In rare cases, lung volume reduction surgery or lung transplant may be options.

Living Well with COPD

COPD doesn’t have to limit your life. By working with a pulmonologist at Supreme Hospital, you can develop a personalized treatment plan to manage your symptoms and maintain an active lifestyle. Here are some additional tips:

  • Get Vaccinated: Regular flu shots and pneumonia vaccinations can help prevent respiratory infections that can worsen COPD.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Being overweight can make breathing more difficult.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet: A healthy diet provides essential nutrients to support lung health.
  • Manage Stress: Stress can worsen COPD symptoms. Relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation can be beneficial.

Consult the Best Pulmonology Doctors at Supreme Hospital

If you’re experiencing symptoms of COPD, schedule an appointment with Supreme Hospital’s pulmonology department. Our team of experienced and compassionate doctors will diagnose your condition, discuss treatment options, and help you live a fulfilling life despite COPD.

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