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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD)
In this video, Dr. Preeti Sharma, senior Consultant Pulmonology and Critical Care at Apollo Clinic, Chandigarh is talking about COPD and answers the following questions:
- What is COPD?
- What are its risk factors?
- What are the causes?
- What are the symptoms, and how can we diagnose them? And is it curable?
What do you mean by COPD?
It’s a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease that primarily affects the lungs. It is very commonly present, and it is both preventable and treatable.
WHAT ARE THE PROBABLE CAUSES?
Smoking is the leading causative agent in 80-90%of cases. It could be in tobacco smoke, cigarette, bidi, or hookah. So COPD is majorly associated with all these things. A person with passive smoking who lives near an active smoker is also at risk of COPD. Apart from smoking, outdoor air pollution, which includes smoke from factories, gases, and gases from on-road vehicles, is potentially hazardous that may lead to COPD.
Then there are occupational exposures, other toxic chemicals, paint, explosives, and people working in such factories may acquire COPD. In a few cases, there can be genetic reasons like they may have a alpha1 antitrypsin deficiency, or in the early childhood period, the kid was prone to frequent throat infections then, which may lead to COPD in later stages.
HOW DO WE KNOW WE HAVE COPD? WHAT ARE ITS SYMPTOMS?
Frequent coughing with phlegm, clearing your throat all the time, shortness of breath while walking, tightness or pain in the chest; are a few symptoms; if you see in yourself or you are a habitual smoker, then you must keep all these symptoms in mind and you must visit your specialist for its treatment.
HOW CAN WE DIAGNOSE COPD?
The doctors perform a lung function test whenever any patient presents with the following symptoms. The lung function test is commonly called spirometry or pulmonary function test. The doctors measured their lung volumes, like how much air they can exhale in one second or six seconds.
Accordingly, we diagnose it. And if it is less than thirty percent, The doctors analyze the patient’s condition as COPD. Apart from spirometry, we perform ECG and X-Ray as it is associated with many other conditions. An X-Ray may show some changes from which we could infer the stage of COPD.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT STAGES OF COPD?
There are four different stages of COPD, and based on lung function tests, which is categorized COPD into mild, moderate, severe, and very severe. In addition, when we talk about symptoms, there are specific scales of symptoms. For example, according to the GOLD Science committee, we categorize the symptoms in four quadrants: A, B, C, and D.
In the A category, patients have significantly fewer symptoms. There is no flare-up in category A which we will talk about later in this video, and category D happens to be the most dangerous with severe symptoms, and their condition is deteriorating.
So, according to this scale, we identify patient symptoms and plan the treatment accordingly.
So the doctors advise any person who is active smoking or passively inhaling smoke and you have these symptoms, then you must consult your pulmonologist so that we can diagnose the disease at an early stage and can start treatment accordingly. In this way, you won’t be suffering In the later stages of life.