Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammation of the chronic lung, which causes blockage of the airways in and out of the lungs. Two lung diseases that cause COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Both these diseases can stand alone, or even attack at the same time. Air flows from the trachea, into the bronchus, and into the lungs. In the lungs, the air is passed evenly to the branching bronchus like a tree, ending in the alveoli of the lung. In the alveoli, oxygen is exchanged with carbon dioxide through the blood vessels, which are present in the lung alveoli. Carbon dioxide is released with the help of the elasticity of the respiratory organs, from the alveolus to the bronchus. In patients with COPD, this elasticity is lost, and the respiratory tract continues to expand. As a result, air cannot get out of the lungs at the time of exhalation. The following are the symptoms of the lungs, which indicate certain diseases in the elderly.
- Persistent coughing is accompanied by drowsiness. In patients with chronic bronchitis, chronic or productive cough that occurs daily for at least three months per year.
- Sputum production in the morning. This is due to the accumulation of mucus in the lungs.
- The chest feels depressed or heavy
- Blue lip and nail colour (cyanosis)
- Respiratory tract infections often occur
- Weight loss
- Swollen legs
- Exposure to cigarette smoke in both active and passive smokers is a major factor that can trigger COPD, as well as a number of other respiratory diseases. The harmful chemicals in cigarettes can damage the lungs and airways. It is estimated that about 20-30 per cent of active smokers suffer from COPD. Stopping smoking habits can prevent COPD from getting worse.
- Exposure to air pollution, such as motor vehicle smoke, dust, or chemicals. Air pollution can interfere with lung function and increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- COPD will grow slowly over the years. Symptoms of the disease generally appear in the 40s.
- Patients with asthma, especially smokers, are at risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- If you have family members suffering from COPD, you are at risk for the same disease. In addition, the presence of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency may also increase the risk of COPD. Alpha-1 antitrypsin is a substance that protects the lungs. The antityphoid alpha-1 deficiency can begin at the age of 35, especially if patients with this disorder also smoke.
EducationQuit smoking and exposure to cigarette smoke can reduce lung damage. Quitting smoking can also prolong life even if the person has smoked in large quantities before.
- Drugs such as ipratropium bromide, salbutamol (Ventolin by Doctoroncall), and terbutaline can reduce bronchial muscle tension and relieve the contraction of the bronchus. The advantage of taking an inhaler is that it continues to enter the lungs and acts quickly with minimal side effects. There is also a prescription for pills such as neulin SR, and theodur.
- Systemic use of steroid medications is essential during an acute exacerbation. It is available in the form of inhalers, pills, and injections.
- Antibiotics – ‘broad-spectrum’ antibiotics are always used, if there are any signs of infection.
- Mucolytic agents for melting phlegm are easy to remove.
- Cough medicine should not be used.