Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus (sputum) production and wheezing. It’s typically caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions.
Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most common conditions that contribute to COPD. These two conditions usually occur together and can vary in severity among individuals with COPD.
Chronic bronchitis is inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs. It’s characterized by daily cough and mucus (sputum) production.
Emphysema is a condition in which the alveoli at the end of the smallest air passages (bronchioles) of the lungs are destroyed as a result of damaging exposure to cigarette smoke and other irritating gases and particulate matter.
Although COPD is a progressive disease that gets worse over time, COPD is treatable. With proper management, most people with COPD can achieve good symptom control and quality of life, as well as reduced risk of other associated conditions.
COPD symptoms often don’t appear until significant lung damage has occurred, and they usually worsen over time, particularly if smoking exposure continues.
Signs and symptoms of COPD may include:
- Shortness of breath, especially during physical activities
- Chest tightness
- A chronic cough that may produce mucus (sputum) that may be clear, white, yellow or greenish
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Lack of energy
- Unintended weight loss (in later stages)
- Swelling in ankles, feet or legs
People with COPD are also likely to experience episodes called exacerbations, during which their symptoms become worse than the usual day-to-day variation and persist for at least several days.
When to see a doctor
Talk to your doctor if your symptoms are not improving with treatment or getting worse, or if you notice symptoms of an infection, such as fever or a change in sputum.
Seek immediate medical care if you can’t catch your breath, if you experience severe blueness of your lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis) or a rapid heartbeat, or if you feel foggy and have trouble concentrating.
The main cause of COPD in developed countries is tobacco smoking. In the developing world, COPD often occurs in people exposed to fumes from burning fuel for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated homes.
Only some chronic smokers develop clinically apparent COPD, although many smokers with long smoking histories may develop reduced lung function. Some smokers develop less common lung conditions. They may be misdiagnosed as having COPD until a more thorough evaluation is performed.
What are the facilities available at the clinic?
The following facilities are available:
- Pulmonary function testing (Spirometry)
- Sleep studies (polysomnography)
- Lung cancer chemotherapy
I snore. Do I need to undergo a sleep study test?
It is not necessary that all persons who snore need to undergo a sleep study. There should be associated features to label it a disease. You should seek consultation from a sleep specialist in this case, who will screen you appropriately.
What will happen to my body if I sleep less?
Sleep is one of the key factors that determine the health of an individual. How one wakes up in the morning is a fair indicator whether one is getting a proper sleep or not. Therefore, if you have been snoozing your alarm too often, you might be damaging your own health. Experts believe that under normal circumstances, one should be able to wake up refreshed. And if you are not then you might be suffering from a sleep disorder. This can cause neurological changes in your body and can reduce the productivity at work. Moreover, in the short run it can cause memory problems and severe hormonal changes in your body.
Whatv is Pulmonary sleep test?
PFT measures how much air you can breathe in and out and how fast you can do it and how well your lungs are working to deliver oxygen to your blood. PFT is a painless test and a technician will ask you to take a deep breath and then blow as hard as you can into a tube connected to PFT machine.
PFT is the most important test for the diagnosis and management of COPD. PFT is similar to ECG of the lungs