66 yr old chronic smoker, Mr Gopal Dubey was successfully treated at Paras HMRI Hospital Patna for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness.
Mr Gopal Dubey was a chronic and regular smoker smoking at least 2 packets of cigarettes per day. A few years back he started to experience coughing and breathlessness. He would often experience wheezing, tightness’ in the chest and breathing discomfort. Troubled with his ailments he was recommended to consult a specialist at Paras Hospital Patna.
Dr Prakash Sinha, Consultant Pulmonology, Paras Hospital Patna examined the patient physically and also understood that Mr Gopal Dubey was a chronic smoker. A 6 minute walking test also suggested that he was experiencing extreme airway distress making him unable to walk properly. According to Dr Prakash, “Mr Gopal is a typical case in which the smokers usually take coughing, wheezing and tightness of the chest as signs and symptoms associated with aging. The result is that these ailments are often ignored until they become unavailable and chronic complications. Mr Gopal’s case was even more complicated due to his smoking habit. He had neither stopped smoking and nor had he opted for specialized care. However a chest X ray, pulmonary function test and a 6 minute walk test was enough for him to realize that he needed to take the issues if his health at hand.”
Post medical and psychological guidance from Dr Prakash, Gopal Dubey decided to quit smoking and started to include major lifestyle changes in his everyday routine. “Quitting smoking at this age was exceptionally difficult. I never realized that the addiction was so intense that it had started to affect my mind ad my body. Dr Prakash had showed the test results and shared that the choice to improve my health was in my hands. I have the choice of being healthy again or choose to continue suffering. I chose the former.”
Over the last few months, Gopal Dubey hasn’t smoked at all. Moreover he has been diligently following the medical regime recommended by Dr Prakash. The breathing exercises and inhalers have helped Goapl immensely.
Dr Prakash shares that COPD is a chronic disease that can cripple a patient. It affects 3 out of every 10 adults and the risk increases 8 times if you are a smoker in old age. Ignorance and unawareness about the disease and its complications makes the situation worse. Specialized care, right diagnosis and correct treatment is also essential. In numerous occasions COPD has been wrongly diagnosed as just pulmonary distress or even tuberculosis.
Hence it is important that you consult a pulmonologist if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Increased breathlessness
- Frequent coughing (with and without sputum)
- Tightness in the chest