CHRONIC-OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE (COPD)

Definition:
Chronic obstructive obstructive
Increased resistance in the airways that reduces the amount of air inhaled in each breath and the oxygen that reaches the pulmonary arteries
bronchitis bronchitis
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi, the larger and medium-sized air passages of the lung.
and pulmonary emphysema emphysema
Long-term, progressive disease of the lungs that primarily causes shortness of breath due to over-inflation of the alveoli (air sacs in the lung).
often occur together. Chronic-obstructive obstructive
Increased resistance in the airways that reduces the amount of air inhaled in each breath and the oxygen that reaches the pulmonary arteries
bronchitis bronchitis
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi, the larger and medium-sized air passages of the lung.
and pulmonary emphysema emphysema
Long-term, progressive disease of the lungs that primarily causes shortness of breath due to over-inflation of the alveoli (air sacs in the lung).
are described by the term chronic obstructive obstructive
Increased resistance in the airways that reduces the amount of air inhaled in each breath and the oxygen that reaches the pulmonary arteries
pulmonary disease, abbreviated to COPD (a lasting, progressive disease of the lungs involving narrowing of the airways). Here the bronchi are not only inflamed, but also become narrower.

Causes / trigger:
The main factor here is smoking. 90% of all people with COPD are smokers or once used to smoke. Air pollution at the workplace also encourages the disease. COPD is the fourth most common cause of death in the world and is the consequence of chronic bronchitis bronchitis
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi, the larger and medium-sized air passages of the lung.
.

Symptoms / signs / effects:
Shortness of breath - cough - sputum sputum
Sputum is mucus that is coughed up from the lower airways.
)In the advanced stage of the disease the cilia are destroyed, along with the cells of the mucous membranes. On exhalation the alveoli alveoli
The pulmonary alveoli are the terminal ends of the respiratory tree.
become unstable and collapse in on themselves. The inflamed bronchial mucosa thickens, so constricting the airways. The patients bronchitis bronchitis
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi, the larger and medium-sized air passages of the lung.
now becomes chronic and obstructive obstructive
Increased resistance in the airways that reduces the amount of air inhaled in each breath and the oxygen that reaches the pulmonary arteries
. The small alveoli alveoli
The pulmonary alveoli are the terminal ends of the respiratory tree.
are also destroyed as the disease progresses, and pulmonary emphysema emphysema
Long-term, progressive disease of the lungs that primarily causes shortness of breath due to over-inflation of the alveoli (air sacs in the lung).
develops. The lung now looks like a balloon and no longer resembles a vine with grapes hanging from it. The later stages of the illness are characterised by pulmonary heart disease (= right ventricular failure), with water retention occurring in the legs and stomach.

Diagnosis:

  • Examination of the lung with a stethoscope
  • Pulmonary function test
  • Blood gas analysis
  • X-ray examination
  • ECG

Treatment:

  • Abstinence from nicotine and avoidance of dust
  • Treatment involving drugs to dilate the bronchi and where appropriate, corticoids as well as medication to control mucus with massive congestion (e.g. inhalation of saline solution)
  • Physical measures, e.g. tapping massages to help the patient cough up mucus as well as breathing exercises
  • Long-term oxygen therapy.