Whats is COPD? – Dr. Norman Swan

by | Colds and Flu, Respiratory Health, Winter health

COPD is almost always caused by smoking and leaves the patient struggling for breath and unable to enjoy life to the fullest. Prevention is the best cure, so stop smoking and educate your friends and family.

COPD, is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and it is almost always the result of smoking related lung damage.

It damages the part of your lungs where the oxygen gets into your bloodstream. You can have really very large areas opening up inside the lung, causing the lung to seize up with fibrosis. Somebody with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can get repeated lung infections. They’re much more susceptible to infections. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) make’s it hard to get oxygen across and it gets worse with time if not managed properly. Left unattended the patient can end up really quite disabled and on longterm oxygen.

The best treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) therefore is in fact prevention, to not smoke. In some cases, people can get a similar syndrome genetically, without having smoked, but that’s unusual. It is almost always a smoking related disease. It’s not easy to treat, but the key here is to work with your GP, particularly in winter, to make sure that you’re covered for influenza, covered for COVID 19, and not smoking. If there is any sign of an infection, get onto it very, very quickly with the appropriate treatment. This often means antibiotics and drugs to open up your airways.

But you have got to work with your GP closely when you’ve got COPD to prevent the decline. If you can stay on an even keel without too many attacks, then you will stop yourself declining as the years go by.

Dr Norman Swan, Physician and Journalist

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