COPD: Symptoms and Prevention


Safa Akhtar, Rhoda Nepolian, Hiya Shah, RHS HOSA

Did you know that 13.1 million U.S. adults have diagnosed COPD? An additional 12 million U.S. adults have undiagnosed COPD. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. It is caused by long-term exposure to irritating gasses like smoke. The main cause of COPD is smoking but non-smokers can get it too. COPD has many symptoms similar to bronchitis and asthma.

The specific symptoms of COPD include frequent coughing or wheezing, excess phlegm or sputum, shortness of breath, and trouble taking deep breaths (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021). COPD symptoms often don’t appear until significant lung damage has occurred, and they usually worsen over time, particularly if smoking exposure continues (Mayo Clinic, 2020). A spirometry test is used to detect COPD in anyone with breathing problems.

After proper diagnosis, different treatments will be available depending on the severity of the case and the patient history. Some different treatments to treat COPD include, but are not limited to, COPD medications, pulmonary rehabilitation, supplemental oxygen, endobronchial valve treatment, surgery, complementary therapies, and palliative care (American Lung Association, 2022).

To prevent COPD, simple lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and avoiding any environment that has poor air quality can be made (Cleveland Clinic, 2022). Although COPD progresses at different rates for everyone, learning about the condition can help prevent further lung damage.

For more information on COPD, please visit the flowing platforms:
Email: [email protected]
Instagram: @copdhosa
Youtube: @copdhosa