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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Long-term inflammatory diseases of the bronchi, with frequent recurrences, cough, sputum and shortness of breath are called the common term - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, shortly COPD.

The development of pathology contributes to poor environmental conditions, work in rooms with polluted air and other factors that provoke diseases of the pulmonary system.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - what is it?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The term COPD appeared relatively recently, about 30 years ago. Mostly the disease is bothering smokers. COPD is constantly ongoing, with periods of short or long-term remission, a disease; a sick person needs medical care all his life.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a pathology that is accompanied by restriction of air flow in the airways.

Over time, the disease progresses, the condition worsens.

COPD: stages of the disease

There are several stages of this disease:

  • Zero . This is a state of pre-disease, i.e. There are certain risks of developing COPD. Accompanied by persistent cough.
  • The first . It is considered a stage of easy flow, while cough is chronic, obstructive disorders are hardly noticeable. Therefore, the diagnosis at this stage is set very rarely.
  • In the second stage , shortness of breath occurs during physical activity, the cough becomes more intense. This period refers to the medium heavy.
  • The third stage is considered difficult. Breathing is much difficult, shortness of breath appears even at rest, and not only during exercise. Obstruction in the lungs is strongly pronounced.
  • The fourth stage of the disease is considered life-threatening. The bronchi are blocked, may develop pulmonary heart. A person with this form of the disease is considered disabled.

Causes of COPD

Causes of COPD An important factor is considered to be constant irritation of the bronchial mucous membrane with dust or gases, as well as microbes (flu, whooping cough, diphtheria).

This leads to the replacement of the ciliated epithelium, flat-layered, with the deformation of the bronchial tree, which contributes to the accumulation of sputum and the occurrence of obstruction.

There are certain causes that can affect the onset and development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These include:

Smoking. It is considered the main cause of the disease. In cigarette smoke contains substances that irritate the respiratory tract and provoke the occurrence of inflammatory processes.

At the same time pneumocytes (lung cells) are damaged. Long-term smokers are more likely to develop emphysema, which leads to the emergence of COPD.

Passive smoking is also a factor in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Pathological processes. In emphysema, the affected cells secrete toxic substances that damage the mucous membrane.

As a result, respiratory failure occurs due to narrowing of the airways.

Ecology plays an important role in the development of the disease. Polluted and dusty air, getting into the lungs causes their irritation and inflammation.

Constant work in unventilated areas also contributes to the onset of COPD.

Genetic disorders are not a very common cause, but sometimes become a decisive factor in the development of pulmonary obstruction.

Bacteria and viruses - cause exacerbations, more often - pneumococci, streptococci, E. coli.

Each subsequent exacerbation deepens the existing pathology and leads to new relapses.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Symptoms and Clinic

symptoms of COPD

symptoms of COPD

In the early stages of the disease is asymptomatic, therefore, during this period is difficult to diagnose. Further, certain signs appear.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease develops in two directions, each has its own symptoms. If the disease progresses in emphysematous type, then it is characterized by:

  • Shortness of breath with little physical exertion;
  • Cough with poor sputum;
  • Skin with a pale pink shade, weight reduction;
  • In the later stages of breathing is difficult, suffocation occurs.

If the disease develops as chronic bronchitis, then its symptoms are:

  • Persistent cough, even in the early stages;
  • Sputum secretion;
  • Dyspnea is present, however, not the same as with emphysema;
  • In the evening and at night, the symptoms of the disease intensify;
  • In the later stages, the patient's skin acquires a bluish tint due to the constant lack of oxygen;
  • Heart failure may occur and, as a result, swelling of the body.

The disease is exacerbated in the winter, in the summer symptoms may be absent.

In people with an allergic mood, asthma attacks occur in the spring and during the flowering period of the plants, they are accompanied by urticaria, rhinitis and drug intolerance.

Diagnosis of COPD

For an accurate diagnosis, experts use the following methods:

  • Blood test and bacteriological examination;
  • Examine respiratory function;
  • X-ray examination;
  • An ECG can be used to determine the state of the heart;
  • Bronchoscopic examination is underway.

Auscultation reveals dry rales of diffuse localization. Persistent marks of wheezing indicate the formation of pneumosclerosis.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Treatment and Rehabilitation

treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Depending on the symptoms, the treatment of COPD is aimed at eliminating the causes of the disease. It should be comprehensive and include:

  • Quitting smoking is important, because otherwise the treatment will not give any results.
  • Diet. Proper nutrition helps to maintain in good order the whole body and does not allow the immune system to fall.
  • Drug treatment. He is prescribed by a doctor, you must comply with all prescriptions to get a positive result.
  • Pulmonologists prescribe oxygen therapy. It brings great benefits and helps to prolong the life of the patient.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation. Respiratory exercises are often used to treat COPD.
  • The surgical method is used if there are no results in the treatment with medicines.

It is possible to treat COPD at home, taking all prescribed medications. In addition, using traditional medicine - infusions and decoctions that help clear the bronchi and reduce cough. Traditional methods can not replace treatment!

As a rule, the treatment of COPD is carried out in conjunction with the treatment of asthma - these diseases accompany each other.

Consequences of COPD

Consequences of COPD The disease, if not treated, is constantly progressing, and the patient's condition worsens. In addition, the following complications result:

  1. Periodic exacerbations, breathing is disturbed;
  2. Memory impairment due to oxygen deficiency in the brain;
  3. Heart disease occurs;
  4. The appetite disappears, the quality of life decreases;
  5. The disease can lead to lung cancer;
  6. There are problems with bones and joints.

In terminal stages, gross bronchial deformities (bronchiectasis) and foci of pulmonary fibrosis are formed.

Preventive measures for COPD

In order to prevent the occurrence and development of the disease you need to follow simple tips:

  • Stop smoking;
  • Try not to be in places with polluted air;
  • Change harmful working conditions;
  • Try not to overcool;
  • In time to treat all diseases of the lungs and respiratory tract.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is dangerous to a person’s life, so it’s worth trying to avoid it. And if such a diagnosis has already been made, all the doctor's prescriptions should be observed.

Classification of COPD according to ICD 10

According to the international classification of diseases ICD 10, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has the code J43 and J44 - emphysema and other obstructive pulmonary disease.

More J44 :

  • J44.0 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with acute respiratory infection of the lower respiratory tract
  • J44.1 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with exacerbation, unspecified
  • J44.8 Other specified chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • J44.9 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, unspecified

More J43 :

  • J43.0 MacLeod Syndrome
  • J43.1 Panlobular emphysema
  • J43.2 Centrilobular emphysema
  • J43.8 Other emphysema
  • J43.9 Emphysema

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