Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or also known as Chronic Bronchitis or Emphysema is a disease that happens in the lungs of people who smoke. It blocks the airflow to the lungs with black tar / black carbon. Some symptoms are excessive coughing and continuously out of breath. To ease the symptoms you could you use inhalers, steroids, antibiotics or just more oxygen. This disease will slowly kill you because it affects your respiratory system therefore making it a long and agonising suffocation. COPD is an incurable disease.
It is called COPD or in other terms chronic bronchitis or emphysema because firstly ; Chronic means determined/continuous, Bronchitis the inflammation of the lungs (bronchi), emphysema is the damage of the alveoli and small airways connected and pulmonary meaning it affects the lungs in some kind of way. The knowledge of COPD dates back 400 years; however it has always existed but was called many different names. It was in 1769 Giovanni Battista Morgagni, an Italian anatomist, described 19 cases of ‘turgid’ lungs that supposedly thought came from air. Matthew Baillie, a Scottish physician and pathologist, illustrated a lung that has suffered emphysema and describing its conditions and how it gradually gets worse. René Laennec, who invented the stethoscope, first came up with the term “emphysema” in his book about diseases in the lungs. He described how when he opened up a lung in an autopsy it was immediately clear to him how the lung did not collapse but stayed fully inflated. He later found out that this was caused by mucus blocking the airways keeping air stuck in the blocked airways. Finally in 1959 the term COPD was defined as emphysema and chronic bronchitis and was first used by William Briscoe in 1965. Slowly COPD is becoming the established term for the disease.
There are many symptoms of COPD but one of the most common is shortness of breath known as dyspnoea. Dyspnoea continuously gets worse, first you only find that strenuous activates demand much more breathing but you still feel out of breath but then its normal household work which demand a lot of effort. In the more advance stages of COPD even resting dyspnoea is present and at worst it is constantly present. Some people can have very bad COPD where your body develops a sort of respiratory failure causing cyanosis to become another threat. ‘A bluish discoloration of the lips caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood’ (News Medical – COPD Symptoms). Sometimes too much carbon dioxide in the blood will cause headaches, drowsiness or excessive twitching. Some other symptoms that doctors or healthcare workers can see that determine that it is COPD are: * tachypnea, a rapid breathing rate
* wheezing sounds or crackles in the lungs heard through a stethoscope * breathing out taking a longer time than breathing in
* enlargement of the chest, particularly the front-to-back distance (hyperinflation) * active use of muscles in the neck to help with breathing * breathing through pursed lips
* increased anteroposterior to lateral ratio of the chest (i.e. barrel chest). (A list from News Medical – COPD symptoms)
The disease is caused by smoking or inhaling smoke due to your occupation, where you live, etc. The black carbon or black tar that comes from smoke you inhale blocks your airways. The black carbon is sticky acting like a sort of mucus.
This lung has had excessive smoking and airways are blocked with black tar / carbon. As you can see when the airways are blocked in it much harder to breathe. This lung has had excessive smoking and airways are blocked with black tar / carbon. As you can see when the airways are blocked in it much harder to breathe. This photo of the difference from a lung that hasn’t received an excessive amount of smoke compared to a lung of a person who had been smoking excessively. As you can see the lungs are filling with tar which is very poisonous and could cause cancer but apart from that it blocks the airways in the lungs. This photo of the difference from a lung that hasn’t received an excessive amount of smoke compared to a lung of a person who had been smoking excessively. As you can see the lungs are filling with tar which is very poisonous and could cause cancer but apart from that it blocks the airways in the lungs.
This is a healthy lung. As you can see the airways are not blocked. This is a healthy lung. As you can see the airways are not blocked.
Having COPD and living with it is a real challenge because it makes everyday tasks extremely difficult especially if you have a strenuous and vigorous life. COPD makes you feel hopeless, helpless because you know it is a continuous disease that will get worse. You will need to get special help if you have very bad COPD like a nurse that visits you every 3 hours or a loved one. You won’t be able to move furniture that blocks your way making it much harder to get past. something’s you must install in your house if you are COPD patient are: A seat in the shower you don’t have to stand up, move all debris or obstructing furniture to making moving easier, wear slip on shoes to save energy on putting on shoes, make things more accessible and these are only some things you need to change.
To conclude COPD is a respiratory disease caused by inhaling excessive smoke which consists of black tar/ black carbon that blocks your airways. Some other names of COPD are Chronic Bronchitis or Emphysema. There is no cure but treatment to ease symptoms such as excessive coughing, tachypnea, a rapid breathing rate, wheezing sounds or crackles in the lungs heard through a stethoscope, breathing out taking a longer time than breathing in, enlargement of the chest, particularly the front-to-back distance (hyperinflation), active use of muscles in the neck to help with breathing, breathing through pursed lips, increased anteroposterior to lateral ratio of the chest (i.e. barrel chest). Living with COPD is very hard because it makes every day activates hard. COPD was discovered almost 400 years ago but had been around but called different names.
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* "History of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease." History of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2012. <http://www.news-medical.net/health/History-of-Chronic-Obstructive-Pulmonary-Disease.aspx>.
* "Giovanni Battista Morgagni." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 June 2012. Web. 17 June 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Battista_Morgagni>.
* "Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Symptoms." Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Symptoms. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 June 2012. <http://www.news-medical.net/health/Chronic-Obstructive-Pulmonary-Disease-Symptoms.aspx>.
* Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.google.com/imgres?q=lungs+after+smoking&um=1&hl=en&sa=X&biw=667&bih=562&tbm=isch&tbnid=I8hgvbqUjBx0_M:&imgrefurl=http://www.lungdetoxification.com/&docid=arDkLu-tq3bLRM&imgurl=http://lungdetoxification.com/images/lungcompare.jpg&w=500&h=395&ei=XDbeT86UONDE8QOjyK2pCw&zoom=1>.
* Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.google.com/imgres?q=lungs+after+smoking&um=1&hl=en&sa=X&noj=1&tbm=isch&tbnid=n5IE3SYOr4UTxM:&imgrefurl=http://www.sleepnow.com/Smoking.htm&docid=WJe-OvVAzCzewM&imgurl=http://www.sleepnow.com/SmokingPics/healthylung.gif&w=400&h=475&ei=ADjeT8yCG8z58QOT1bibCw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=929&vpy=62&dur=408&hovh=245&hovw=206&tx=119&ty=162&sig=111349007448394255951&page=1&tbnh=132&tbnw=113&start=0&ndsp=24&ved=1t:429,r:5,s:0,i:155&biw=1525&bih=636>.