SCI/163 Essentials of Health and Wellness
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a chronic disease that overtime deprives an individual of the ability to breathe. It is currently the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. COPD is preventable, there are ways to diagnose this disease, and there is treatment. Tobacco smoke contributes to more than 90% of COPD diagnosis worldwide, and the other 10% is mainly made up of genetics, environment or occupational causes. Those who smoke often either ignore or do not understand the early signs of this disease. Early signs would include coughing, mucus, clearing the throat, and wheezing. Most smokers accept this as a result of smoking and do not accept these are early signs of COPD. The signs of permanent damage from this chronic disease are chronic obstruction to the airways and lung damage. Another indication this disease has taken over, is exacerbation (Doherty, 2002). The process to diagnose this disease is often difficult, as the early signs remain largely undetectable through a chest radiogram or electrocardiogram. Once more permanent damage has taken place inside the lung it is easier to diagnose COPD by x-ray. Often patients are diagnosed in the latter stages, when they see a doctor to complain about breathing difficulty and other related symptoms. However, there are ways to detect COPD in the early stages, known as the ‘silent period’, by using a spirometry test. The spirometry test measures the abnormalities of airflow and gives the individual results to determine a diagnosis during the early stages of COPD. It is recommended patients 45 and older with a history of smoking receive a spirometry test to detect the early stages of COPD. As well, as those under this age requirement and have a lifestyle of smoking. Treatment for COPD would include pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceuticals. The inflammation caused by this disease typically does not respond to corticosteroid...
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