Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is not just one specific disease. It is actually a group of diseases common to the lungs that make it difficult to breathe normally and also blocks airflow. It most commonly stems from smoking tobacco, but has been linked with inhaling fumes from cooking and heating in a home that has not been vented correctly. In rare instances, COPD can be caused from Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, which is a genetic disorder where your body does not have enough of the protein Alpha-1-antitrypsin. One of the diseases included in COPD is Emphysema. Emphysema happens when the alveoli which are attached to the bronchioles are slowly destroyed, and is most often caused by smoking tobacco. The other most common disease included with COPD is chronic bronchitis. Chronic Bronchitis occurs when the lining of your bronchial tubes swell and makes it difficult for air to come and go from the lungs.
People, who have COPD, usually don’t notice the symptoms until the lungs have already been severely damaged. The most commonly overlooked symptom is a cough that lasts more than a couple months for more than 2 years. Other symptoms include having little to no energy, weight loss, frequent respiratory infections, tightness in the chest area, wheezing, having to much mucus in your lungs early in the morning and having to clear your throat first thing, some shortness of breath, and also coughing up sputum. When a person is coughing up that sputum it can be greenish, yellow, clear or white in color. Sometimes, the symptoms can worsen and last for days at a time and that is called having an exacerbation. The symptoms of COPD can be even more severe in a person who has other disea...
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...these people cannot do what they once could.
I personally watched someone very close to me struggle with this disease for many years. My grandmother who had smoked for many many years had this disease. She was on continuous oxygen and could not even walk to her bathroom without being out of breath. This caused her to stay at home all the time and not want to get out. She was depressed and also suffered from memory loss due to the lack of oxygen to her brain. She tried many breathing techniques described in this paper, and also many of the medications. When she got a common cold, it would quickly turn into pneumonia which would require a hospital stay. The financial burden of that was almost too much to handle, for her and our family. My advice to people with this disease is to stop smoking right away and do everything they can to have a good quality of life.
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