At AireHealth, we believed that knowledge is power, and that informed patients, are empowered patients. This week we're tackling 5 of the most commonly asked questions regarding COPD — so that you can feel confident in your chronic respiratory care.
WHAT IS COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory respiratory disease that creates obstructed airflow within the lungs. Symptoms of COPD include difficulty breathing, a chronic cough, excess mucus production and wheezing.
WHAT IS THE MAIN CAUSE OF COPD?
The cause of COPD varies from person to person, however, many cases of COPD are linked to smoking. It's important to note that you don't have to be a smoker to develop COPD. Other causes of COPD include;
- Pollution and fumes - Breathing in chemical fumes, dust, and air pollution can cause COPD.
- Genetics - Some people with COPD have a genetic defect called “alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency,” (AAT deficiency). This defect means your lungs adequately protect themselves from damage, leading to severe COPD.
- Asthma - If you have asthma and don't receive treatment, your lungs may become damaged over time which can lead to COPD.
WHO GETS COPD?
COPD affects millions of people across the world, with current estimations as high as 16.4 million people in the U.S. alone. COPD death are much higher in women than in men. This can be linked to the fact that women are more vulnerable to lung damage than men due to cigarette smoke or other pollutants. In addition, smaller lungs and higher levels of estrogen may also play a role in worsening lung disease.
HOW DO YOU TREAT COPD?
To effectively treat COPD, you must sit down with a health professional and discuss your symptoms and lifestyle. COPD is a chronic respiratory condition, and long-term COPD control medications are an integral part of care management. Quick-relief inhalers also play an important role in COPD care, as well as nebulizers. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe more than one drug delivery device and respiratory medication to manage your care.
CAN COPD BE CURED?
COPD is a chronic illness, and there is currently no known cure; however, it is a highly treatable disease. Today's treatments are so effective at controlling COPD symptoms when used correctly, that many people with COPD have an excellent quality of life.
For more information about AireHealth’s connected-portable nebulizer and how it can make your chronic respiratory treatment easier, click here.
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