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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Doctors to Consult
Overview

A pulmonary disease characterized by persistent airflow limitation or obstruction that is not fully reversible, which is caused by either chronic bronchitis and emphysema or both.

Chronic bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes. It causes a chronic cough that is present for 3 months that often produces mucus in which other causes of chronic cough have been eliminated.

Emphysema damages the air sacs of the lungs resulting to lack of oxygen in the body.

Symptoms
  • A persistent cough usually worse in the morning
  • Increased mucus production or a productive cough
  • Shortness of breath or dyspnea
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Occasionally intermittent fever
Risk Factors
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke especially in childhood
  • Genetic factors: a1-antiproteinase deficiency
  • Indoor and outdoor air pollution
  • Occupational exposure to e.g., cadmium and silica
  • Previous/underlying lung Infections
  • > 40 yrs old
Commonly Prescribed Drugs

Bronchodilators

  • A mainstay in the management of the disease.
  • Inhaled route is preferred over oral route due to faster onset of action and less adverse effects.
  • Beta 2-Adrenergic Receptor Agonists
    • Short Acting Beta 2 Agonists - Terbutaline, albuterol, salbutamol.
    • Long Acting Beta 2 Agonists - Formoterol, salmeterol.
  • Anticholinergics - Ipratropium, tiotropium

Corticosteroids

  • Reduce the incidence and severity of flare-ups.
    • Fluticasone, Beclomethasone

 

Other drugs used:

  • Theophylline
  • Phospodiesterase-4 Inhibitors
Treatment and Management
  • Stop smoking to improve longevity and quality of life.

  • Avoid exposure to irritants, including secondhand smoke and air pollution.

  • Wear suitable safety equipment when working in a dangerous environment.

  • Exercise regularly to improve lung function.

 

Other treatment options:

Smoking Cessation

  • Used in reducing the risk and delaying the progression of the disease for patients who are cigarette smokers.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

  • Improved overall health function.
  • Improvement in exercise capability.
  • Reduces symptoms including lessening in the intensity of exacerbations.

Vaccination

  • Annual influenza and pneumococcal vaccination.
Home Remedies
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