Topics: Pneumonia, Asthma, Pulmonology Pages: 6 (1138 words) Published: May 28, 2015

COPD: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Angelia Alleyne
May 4, 2015
Professor Lori Olson
COPD: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a long-term disease that causes breathing problems. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death worldwide. COPD, however, is a heterogeneous collection of diseases with differing causes, pathogenic mechanisms, and physiological effects. Therefore a comprehensive approach to COPD prevention will need to address the complexity of COPD. Advances in the understanding of the natural history of COPD and the development of strategies to assess COPD in its early stages make prevention a reasonable, if ambitious, goal. Prevention can be classified as primary, secondary, or tertiary (Rennard, Drummond, 2015). The term COPD is used to describe certain diseases that partially block airflow in the lungs. The most common kinds of COPD include: Emphysema and Chronic bronchitis and other diseases. Emphysema can cause damage to the alveoli that cannot be cured; this is the tiny air sacs of the lungs where oxygen is put into your blood. With emphysema your lungs become less able to take in good air and get rid of carbon dioxide. Chronic bronchitis occurs when the airways in the lungs become swollen; this causes more mucus than normal to be made in the lungs. The swelling and increased mucus can cause the airflow to become partially blocked. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema often occur together. Other diseases that may cause long-term airflow problems in the lugs include asthmatic bronchitis, which is also called chronic asthma, and cystic fibrosis. Smoking or being around smokers causes the most cases of COPD. The more you smoke, the more you cause irreversible damage to your lungs. Children of heavy smokers can also have an increased risk of having COPD later in life. People who do not smoke but who live with others that smoke or work around people that smoke may also get COPD. Exposure to things that irritate their lungs like, working around dusts and fumes can damage your lungs over time. Even living in areas that has a heavy pollution can also increase your risk of lung problems. Living or working around dusts, fumes, or pollution when you have COPD can make your illness worse. Lung irritants that may cause lung problems over time include: working around smoke from burning structures or grasses on a regular basis. Fumes from chemicals, such as ammonia or chlorine, and dusts such as coal dusts, grain dust, or dust from metals are very harmful to everyone especially people who suffer from COPD. If you have a family history of COPD you are more likely to get the lung disease. The signs and symptoms of COPD may happen slowly. Shortness of breath, especially during activity, is one the earliest symptoms. You may have a morning cough that is dry, or that brings up mucus from the lungs. Smokers may mistake this cough for a “normal smoker’s cough”. A smoker’s cough is never “normal” and may mean that your lungs are already damaged by smoking. As time passes, the cough may start to last longer during the day. You may start to cough up more mucus. You may be prone to develop colds and other lung infections more often than you used to. COPD will worsen over time and you may have more symptoms. Your skin, nail beds, or lips may turn dusky or blue and you may become more short of breath and get tired more easily. You may also have some trouble walking as far as you use to walk and at times you may make a very high pitched noise when you breathe, this is called wheezing. Sometimes your breathing may become faster and shallower than it used to be and weight loss may be rapid. You can also become very anxious or depressed because of your breathing problems. Advanced COPD may lead to heart problems. This can happen when the heart has to work much harder because of...

References: Rennard, S., & Drummond, M. (2015). The Lancet. Early Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Definition, Assessment, and Prevention, 385(9979), 1778-1788. (15)60647-X
About the COPD Foundation. (). Retrieved from http://www/copdfoundation.prg/
What is COPD. (). Retrieeved from
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