Regardless of what people may say, smoking cigarettes isn’t a cool thing to do and it comes with a variety of harmful effects. Even doctors could cringe when they see lungs of smokers. People who smoke are often affected by COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This could happen when tobacco smoke has irritated airways and destroyed pathways inside our lungs, causing a variety of symptoms, including shortness of breath, tightness in chest and wheezing. In general, symptoms of COPD won’t appear until our lungs are badly damaged. When doctors suspect that we have COPD, they could perform physical exams, such as listening to our lungs. Background checks will be needed to find out more information, such as our past health issues.
There is a possibility that we are exposed to other things that can cause symptoms similar to COPD. Patients will get chest X-ray examination and undergo various breathing tests to know whether their lungs are still functioning well. This examination should also allow doctors to rule out issues that can cause specific symptoms. People with COPD often experience a type of flare up and this could happen when their symptoms seem to get much worse. In some cases, COPD could exacerbate and it could be quite life threatening. If smokers have specific symptoms, it is important to know whether they really have COPD. It would be much easier to take steps to slow down long damages, if we could identify the condition much earlier.
The main cause of COPD is usually airway obstruction. People with COPD could have chronic bronchitis, which happens when the airway that is used to carry air gets inflamed and have some mucus on the surface. When someone has chronic bronchitis, they may have increased mucus production and an ongoing cough. This will further narrow down the bronchial tubes, especially if inflammation develops. People with COPD could also have emphysema and this is indicated by inflammation on the alveoli walls. When people are healthy, small air sacs inside their lung could smoothly inflate and deflate when they breathe normally. However, people with emphysema could have air sacs that have lost their flexibility.
People with emphysema could also have shortness of breath. This could happen if people smoke cigarette for a long period of time. Tobacco smoke is actually an irritant and it could affect people who don’t smoke, but continuously exposed by second-hand smoke. Chemical fumes and other kinds of pollutions could also cause COPD with emphysema. Acid reflux and COPD are a bad combination, because symptoms could overlap, causing severe discomfort for patients. The progression of COPD could be stopped only by quitting smoking and followed by a series of treatments. If we do things properly living with COPD shouldn’t be all doom and gloom. There are things we can do to make us healthier. It is also important to get pneumonia and flu shots every year, because COPD can aggravate these illnesses. In general, we should stay clear of things that can irritate our lungs.