COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD refers to a group of diseases that include chronic bronchitis , emphysema and asthmatic
Symptoms range from the hardly noticeable to the unbearable. Early symptoms of COPD include daily morning coughs with clear sputum. During a cold or other respiratory infection, the cough may become more noticeable, and the sputum turns yellow or greenish. After a cold or respiratory infection, wheezing may occur. COPD is referred to as the silent disease because symptoms generally progress slowly and almost unnoticeably. At first shortness of breath occurs during exercise. Patients with COPD may experience difficulty in breathing, chronic cough, weight loss and periods of symptoms so severe, they require hospitalization.
There is a direct causal relationship between COPD and smoking, clearly indicated in COPD progression. In many cases, after 10 years of smoking, a person develops a chronic cough with the production of a small amount of sputum. At the age of 40, there is only shortness of breath during exertion. But by the age of 50, the shortness of breath becomes more common. This is followed by a morning cough related to smoking. These symptoms may not seem serious at first, but they gradually progress to the point where activities of daily living, such as walking, dressing and even eating, cause extreme shortness of breath.
In the United States, 90% of COPD occurs due to smoking. Only about 15% of chronic smokers will go on to develop clinically significant COPD. Once diagnosed with COPD, it is essential to give up smoking. Although cessation of smoking can help to slow the progression of the disease, currently, there is no effective treatment for COPD. Needless to say, COPD is one of the greatest health problems facing America and the world today.