Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Essay

Submitted By Maxmaudy12
Words: 708
Pages: 3

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease “COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary (PULL-mun-ary) disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. "Progressive" means the disease gets worse over time”. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is most commonly found in current or former cigarette smokers. Other ways to contract this disease is by longtime exposure to chemical fumes, or dust. COPD affects about 30 million americans and is the fourth leading cause of death behind heart disease, cancer, and cerebrovascular disease. Men are twice as much at more risk to contract COPD. COPD may not have some obvious symptoms at first, but as time goes by they start to become more noticeable. Some of the signs for COPD are and ongoing cough and or a cough that produces a lot of mucus, shortness of breath especially with physical activity, wheezing, and chest tightness. These signs are most common in the beginning stages of COPD. The more severe symptoms are having a hard time catching your breath or talking, your lips or fingernails turn blue or gray, you’re not mentally alert, and the heart starts to beat very fast. At this point it is very urgent to see medical attention. These symptoms can be commonly seen in heavy smokers. Usually most of them have hard coughs and they cannot do much physical activity. “Your doctor will diagnose COPD based on your signs and symptoms, your medical and family histories, and test results” . Doctors will usually is if the patient smokes, has had contact with secondhand smoke, air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust. The doctor will also conduct a lung function test that measures how much air you can breathe in and out, how fast you can breathe air out, and how well your lungs deliver oxygen to your blood. The spirometer is the machine that the patient has to blow into to begin the testing. Spirometry can detect COPD before symptoms develop. The doctor can also have the patient inhale medicine to help open the airways, then compare both of the test results to see if there was any significant difference. Other tests that can be administered are a chest x ray or chest ct scan. They can help see the heart, lungs, blood vessel, and can show if other conditions are causing these symptoms. Also arterial blood gas tests measure the oxygen level in your blood using a sample of blood taken from an artery. This can display how severe COPD is in the patient and what kind of treatment they would need. There isn’t a cure for COPD but there are ways to relieve and slow down the process of the disease. There are many different ways because there are different forms of…