Posted on Apr 19, 2022
The first and foremost question is – What is COPD? COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is a chronic lung disease that affects people worldwide. The good news is, it is preventable and treatable if caught early. This article delves into the causes, symptoms, and risk factors of COPD that you should look out for, as this disease becomes more common than ever in the present time.
Some facts about COPD
Causes and risk factors of COPD
In simple words, exposure to irritants that damage your lungs and airways can cause Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Here are the major causes and risk factors of COPD:
One of the main causes and risk factors of COPD is smoking. Around 85-90% of all COPD cases are caused due to cigarette smoking. The thousands of toxins in cigarette smoke destroy the lungs’ capacity bit by bit. Slowly but surely contributing to COPD.
COPD is essentially caused by what you breathe in, so your surrounding environment becomes a risk factor for COPD too. Be it indoors, outdoors, home, or workspace – air pollution, secondhand smoke, and dust, fumes, and chemicals in any of these spaces can be a cause for COPD.
3. Alpha-1 deficiency
This is a rare genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, which affects some people at a young age and causes them to develop COPD. The protein, Alpha-1 protects the lungs, so a body that’s deficient in this protein automatically becomes a major risk factor for COPD.
4. Occupational dust and chemicals
Since Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive illness, doctors worldwide categorise the symptoms into 4 stages of COPD:
Stage 1: Early
In this nascent stage, Symptoms of COPD often are unnoticed even by the patient. Instead, they are mistaken for flu as they develop a cough and increased mucus production.
Stage 2: Mild
Symptoms of stage 2 COPD show up as a worse form of Stage 1. Severe coughing and mucus production occur, some even experience shortness of breath when walking or exercising. Usually, people only realize that something is wrong in this stage.
Stage 3: Severe
Symptoms of Severe COPD include:
Stage 4: Very severe
At this stage breathing even while resting becomes a challenge for many. The blood oxygen level is low and the patient is likely to have frequent flare-ups that can be potentially fatal. There’s a risk of developing lung or heart failure.
Like many chronic diseases, COPD is best treated at an early stage. Because it gets worse over time unless you get proper treatment. The earlier you catch it, the better of course. So, if you are facing any of these symptoms of COPD, contact Paras Hospitals by clicking here to get immediate specialized treatment.
Early diagnosis – symptoms include