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Posted on Apr 19, 2022

Treatment and prevention of COPD

COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a major health issue related to the lungs. Earlier this disease used to mainly affect the old age groups, however, due to the rise in the habit of smoking, today even 40 yrs old are found to be affected by COPD. It can be defined as an ailment that causing inflammation in the air carrying sacs of the lungs causing difficulty in breathing. The word chronic is associated with the disease as the signs and symptoms can be quite severe and the disease can only be managed with the right medication and medical expertise.

Treatment and Prevention of COPD

Treatment for COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

There exist many treatments for COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The best and the first is to quit smoking right away.

The 3 main objectives of comprehensive treatment & management of COPD are:-

  • To lessen the airflow restriction
  • To prevent & treat secondary medical complications i.e. hypoxemia, infection.
  • To reduce respiratory symptoms & improve quality of living.

Medical treatments of COPD comprise of beta 2 agnostics & anticholinergic agents or bronchodilators, mucolytic agents, steroids, oxygen therapy & surgical procedure like bullectomy, surgery for lung volume reduction & lung transplantation.

Treatment is often dependent on the stage of COPD like below:

Stage 1:- short-acting bronchodilator as required

Stage 2:- short-acting bronchodilator as required& long-acting bronchodilators plus cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.

Stage 3:- short-acting bronchodilators as required long-acting bronchodilators cardiopulmonary rehabilitation & inhaled glucocorticoids for repeated exacerbations.

Stage 4:- As required, long-acting bronchodilators, inhaled glucocorticoids, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, long run oxygen therapy, surgery for lung volume reduction & lung transplantation as stage 4 is known as the end stage COPD

COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Hospitalization:

Acute exacerbation of COPD is one of the main causes for hospital admissions in many countries in India.Patients may require being admitted to hospitals if they grow severe respiratory dysfunction if there is the progress of the disease or if they experience serious respiratory problems like acute bronchitis and pneumonia.

A patient could be hospitalized into ICU if they need invasive or noninvasive mechanical ventilation or if they experience the below symptoms:-

  • Confusion
  • Respiratory muscle fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Worsening hypoxemia or inadequate oxygen within blood &
  • Respiratory acidosis or retention of carbon dioxide in blood

Can  COPD be prevented or not?

Except for COPD caused due to genetic issues, this condition can be prevented for several individuals by merely never consuming any tobacco product

Other preventive steps are:

  • Avoiding coal-burning and wood oil fumes
  • Restricting our exposure to the lung irritants like air pollutants
  • Taking the recommended vaccines for avoiding the infections like flue could help lower damage to lungs & the COPD symptoms which assist damage to lungs.