24.06.2021

COPD treatment

If the diagnosis is made early, you may be able to avoid serious lung damage.

Over time, COPD is exacerbated. Dyspnea worsens along with other symptoms of COPD.

It is very important to quit smoking.
  • If you continue to smoke, the symptoms of COPD will worsen faster and you will be more at risk for other serious illnesses.
  • Lung damage cannot be cured and repaired, but you can control the symptoms of the disease if you quit smoking.
Complications

Health problems caused by COPD include:

  • Sudden exacerbations of COPD, manifested as sudden bouts of coughing, shortness of breath, and / or the amount or color of mucus that you cough up.
  • Frequent lung infections such as pneumonia.
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis, especially if you are taking corticosteroids.
  • Depression or anxiety. COPD can limit your ability to work and can reduce your independence, sexual activity, social activities, and self-esteem. This often causes depression, and difficulty breathing can cause a feeling of excitement.
  • Weight problems. If chronic bronchitis is the basis of COPD, you are likely to lose weight. With emphysema, you can gain weight and muscle mass.
  • Heart failure damaging the right side of the heart.
  • Pneumothorax. COPD can damage the structure of the lung, causing air to enter the chest cavity.
  • Sleep problems due to lack of oxygen in the lungs.

The treatment of COPD is improved, which improves the quality of life of patients, but COPD can also be exacerbated and lead to fatal consequences.

It is important to talk to your doctor about these problems:

  • How do you see “your death”? Do you want to fight for life to the end? Do you want a calm, peaceful death?
  • If you experience sudden, life-threatening respiratory problems, do you want artificial ventilation of the lungs?
  • What other alternative treatments are you ready for?
  • Do you want to sign a document on the transfer to another person of the right to make important medical decisions in case of loss of legal capacity?
COPD: Symptoms

With COPD:

  • There is a persistent cough.
  • Often expectorated mucus.
  • Dyspnea appears.
Exacerbation of COPD

Many patients with COPD are susceptible to attacks and exacerbations of the disease, which are quite dangerous and can lead to hospitalization.

Symptoms include:

  • Expectoration of more mucus.
  • Change in color or thickness of mucus.
  • The appearance of shortness of breath.

These attacks are most often caused by infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia, as well as polluted air. The doctor will help to make a plan of action in case of sudden exacerbations of the disease. Such training will help control symptoms and avoid panic attacks.

The stages of COPD are often determined according to the symptoms. The lead analysis is the forced expiratory volume in 1 second, which is measured using a spirometer.

Easy COPD (Stage 1)

  • Frequent, but not constant coughing that lifts mucus from the lungs
  • Lung function FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in 1 second) – 80%

Moderate COPD (Stage 2)

  • Chronic cough with a lot of mucus
  • Dyspnea, especially during exercise
  • Lung function FEV1 50% – 79%

Severe COPD (Stage 3)

  • Chronic cough with a lot of mucus
  • Dyspnea
  • Weight loss
  • Acute exacerbations of COPD
  • Lung function FEV1 30% – 49%

Very Severe COPD (Stage 4)

  • Chronic cough with a lot of mucus
  • Dyspnea
  • Weight loss
  • Blue skin, especially the skin of the lips, fingers and toes
  • Fluid accumulation in the legs (edema)
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Disorientation due to excess carbon dioxide and lack of oxygen in the blood
  • Life-threatening exacerbation of COPD
  • Lung function FEV1 30% – 49%
Diseases with similar symptoms

Diseases that cause these symptoms include:

  • Heart failure.
  • Coronary artery disease.
  • Asthma.
  • Кистозный фиброз.
  • Pulmonary fibrosis.
  • The expansion of the bronchi.
COPD: Analyzes and Surveys

To diagnose COPD, the doctor will do the following:

  • Examine the history and conduct a physical examination.
  • Check lung function using spirometry.
  • Make an x-ray of the chest. This will help eliminate other diseases with similar symptoms.

Examinations that are prescribed if necessary

  • Arterial blood analysis for gases and acidity.
  • Oximetry measures oxygen saturation of blood.
  • Electrocardiogram or echocardiogram
  • Carbon Dioxide Transfer Factor.

Surveys that are prescribed in rare cases

  • Analysis of the measurement of the level of  antitrypsin alpha 1.
  • CT scan.
Regular checks

Since COPD is a disease that is exacerbated, the doctor will prescribe regular examinations and tests:

  • Spirometry.
  • Blood test for gases and acidity.
  • X-ray and cardiogram.

It is important to inform your doctor about any changes in symptoms and exacerbations; he can change the treatment plan and prescribe alternative medications.

Early diagnosis

The sooner COPD is diagnosed, the sooner the patient can take steps to slow the development of the disease and maintain the quality of life. Analyzes will help the doctor diagnose COPD before any symptoms appear.

Check with your doctor about testing if you:

  • Smoke
  • You have asthma for a long time.
  • You have a genetic predisposition for emphysema.
  • You work in a zone of high concentration of chemicals and dust.

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