COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease refers to a group of lung diseases, with chronic bronchitis and emphysema being the most common ones. Most patients with COPD suffer both of these diseases.
Emphysema is the disease that destroys the air sacs, which limits outward airflow. Bronchitis is an inflammation that leads to mucus build up. With COPD, patients have difficulty breathing. Symptoms are mild at first, starting with shortness of breath and coughing. But with time, it becomes harder to breathe. Patients experience tightness in the chest and have flare-ups with more severe symptoms.
The main cause of COPD in developed countries is smoking and exposure to chemical irritants. The disease requires a long time to develop, and there is no cure. To diagnose COPD, a patient undergoes blood tests, imaging tests, and lung function tests. With the right treatment, quality of life can be significantly improved. Oxygen therapy, medications, and surgery are the most common treatments.