Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD is a disease that refers to a collection of respiratory ailments that cause syndrome like symptoms. The conditions that fall under COPD are asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. These conditions are considered to be COPD when the individual is suffering from one or more of them on an ongoing basis, such that their airflow is frequently disrupted or obstructed. In many cases damage caused by chronic COPD is irreversible, and this is what makes the condition chronic, and in some cases fatal. Many patients need to know that quality of life with COPD does not have to suffer. Treatment is available and proven very effective. If you suffer from asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema and are wondering if you may have COPD, read here to find out more and how to get treatment fast. An obstructed airway or airflow is the primary symptom of COPD, and this is marked by a difficulty in exhaling. Common symptoms that accompany the obstructed airflow are a dry cough, or cough that produces mucous; wheezing that occurs upon exhaling, and a shortness of breath that will come with any exertion. Individuals that struggle with bronchitis or emphysema on a consistent basis will be diagnosed with chronic bronchitis or chronic emphysema which are precursors to COPD. Chronic bronchitis is one where a cough produces mucous frequently enough that it lasts for either three months every year, or for two years consecutively. Chronic emphysema will be diagnosed when the arispaces around the bronchiole in the lungs are enlarged on a consistent basis. Bronchodilator treatments for the precursor conditions to COPD are the first weapon of defense when it comes to COPD treatment. When it comes to bronchitis and asthma, bronchodilator treatment may be enough on their own to release the obstruction of airflow and allow for comfortable breathing. Emphysema is the only precursor condition that will cause irreversible damage when it comes to COPD, but if caught early enough, the obstructed airflows in emphysema patients with bronchodilator treatment. In many cases of the more advanced COPD, additional treatment such as prednisone or steroid treatment may also help in releasing airflow obstructions. In addition, even more advanced stages of COPD may require oxygen treatment in supplemental forms. Because oxygen is a bronchodilator in itself, it can also be used in moderate COPD to ease coughing and wheezing symptoms. For patients with COPD, quality of life can be severely impaired. Many doctors along with treatment such as oxygen and prednisone will offer pulmonary rehabilitation programs to educate people on how to live effectively with this disease. This type of program will help patients plan their quality of care, and learn how to implement exercise into their treatment program. Exercise is very important for COPD sufferers to keep their cardiovascular function optimal, as well as to keep the airways clear. Pulmonary rehab programs in conjunction with prednisone and oxygen therapy have been proven to be the most comprehensive and multi-pronged treatment relief programs for people suffering from asthma, bronchitis, and chronic emphysema.
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