: Staying physically fit can help you become strong, agile and also strengthen your respiratory muscles. (Photo: Representational/Pixabay)
According to the World Health Organization, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) may become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2030. Likewise, according to a study published by the University of Washington’s Global Burden Of Disease, COPD was the second-highest cause of death in India, after heart disease in the year 2017, killing 1 million (958,000). Thus, it is the need to the hour to tackle COPD at the right time. Dr Sameer Garde, Consultant Pulmonologist, Global Hospital Mumbai, talks about this fatal lung disease and also its prevention.
Do you find it difficult to breathe freely? Are you unable to concentrate on your work owing to that constant cough? Did you miss your important meeting owing to that chest tightness and wheezing? Then, it is time you should visit your doctor as it could be Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Facts about COPD
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) can be termed as a chronic inflammatory lung disease that makes breathing difficult by obstructing airflow from the lungs. It is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung disease which includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and non-reversible asthma. You will be shocked to know that COPD is incurable. But, timely diagnosis and appropriate management of the disease can help in reducing the deaths occurring due to this life-threatening disease.
What are the symptoms of COPD
If you spot symptoms like chest tightness, wheezing, fatigue, breathing difficulties and respiratory infections then immediately consult your doctor. Also, the symptoms may worsen so it is essential to deal with this lung ailment at the right time, and help patients enhance their quality of life.
Do not ignore these causes
Smoking: You are at a higher risk of COPD if you smoke on a daily basis. Not only this, even second-hand smoking is equally harmful and can be the culprit.
Constant exposure to dust and chemicals: Are you aware? Your lungs may get inflamed owing to continuous exposure to the harmful chemicals and also the dust along with irritating the lungs.
Indoor and outdoor pollution: The harmful chemicals emitted by the vehicles or chemical industries and fumes from that burning fuel for cooking can also lead to COPD. Indoor air pollution: avoid using mosquito repellents in the form of Coils/liquids/ mats; also stop burning Incense sticks/camphor etc. the pollution created by these items is as bad as smoking!
Complications that arise owing to COPD
Those suffering from COPD are at a higher risk of cold, flu and pneumonia leading to more breathing difficulties or lung cancer.
Know about the treatment
Your doctor will prescribe certain medications that you will have to take from time to time. Also, one of the most important things is quitting smoking by opting for a smoking cessation program. Doing so can improve your ability to breathe, and manage the ailment.
This is how you can prevent COPD
Stop smoking: Smoking regularly is not at all a good idea. So, cut down on smoking and avoid visiting areas where you find people smoking. This is so because second-hand smoke is equally dangerous for you. Likewise, don’t venture out when there is poor air quality in your area as it may also cause COPD.
Visit your doctor from time to time: See to it that you get evaluated on a regular basis. Monitoring lung health can help you keep COPD away.
Exercise to enhance your respiratory health: Staying physically fit can help you become strong, agile and also strengthen your respiratory muscles. Hence, you will have to speak to your doctor and fitness trainer about the exercises you should opt for and avoid. Not only this, but you can also opt or breathing exercises which will help you improve the capacity of your lungs and breathe freely.