The signs of COPD are consequences of the anatomical changes caused by the disease:
One of the most common symptoms of COPD is shortness of breath (dyspnea). However, it does not usually occur until the sixth decade of life (in people aged 50-59 years). Over the years, dyspnea gets gradually worse so that it can manifest during everyday activities such as housework. In the advanced stages of COPD, dyspnea can become so bad that it is manifested by patient during rest, and so it is constantly present. It is closely associated with lung function decline.
Other symptoms of COPD are:
The following may also occur as COPD worsens:
- COPD can lead to death if not properly treated
- The symptoms of COPD can make handling a variety of tasks become extremely difficult. Thus, the disease can affect the patients’ work abilities, which can cause them losing their jobs.
- The lungs can be damaged permanently as a consequence of this disease and the patient might have to permanently breathe with the help of apparatuses.
Various infections are commonly associated with COPD. Next to them, some of the other diseases that are associated with COPD are:
There is currently no cure for COPD; however, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is both a preventable and treatable disease. The only measures that have been shown to reduce mortality are smoking cessation and supplemental oxygen.
The goal of the treatment of COPD is to improve your daily living and quality of life by preventing symptoms and exacerbations, thereby preserving optimal lung function.
There are many surgeries available but only giant bullectomy and lung volume reduction surgeries have proven to be useful:
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