Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a lung disease that prevents a person from breathing properly or efficiently. Different structures in the lungs like the bronchi and air sacs can be affected. Over 12 million adults are thought to have COPD based on most recent data. This is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
The leading cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. A person doesn’t even have to smoke to be affected by cigarette smoke. Second-hand smoke or prolonged exposure to smoke from fuel like coal can also cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Another cause of COPD is a deficiency of the protein alpha 1-antitrypsin or AAT. The lack of this protein can make people more prone to asthma or COPD. This causes the walls of the air sacs to degrade over time and makes it harder for the lungs to work properly.
A third cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is dust. The dust can be from a great many sources, including coal, grain or metal. People who work in these industries need to wear protective gear to minimize inhalation of these particles. Pollutants like sulfur dioxide also contribute to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Medical professionals at a COPD treatment center might recommend that a patient change jobs if it’s affecting his or her health adversely. A doctor might also recommend that the patient receive flu or pneumonia vaccines since those with chronic lung diseases are at very high risks of complications from influenza.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a disease that develops slowly. Most people don’t notice signs and symptoms until around age 50. Sufferers may develop a chronic, productive cough and may feel short of breath even with minimal exercise. They may also experience wheezing and feel a tightness like a band around their chest. People who have these symptoms might want to visit a COPD treatment center as soon as possible.
The physicians at Asthma and Allergy Associates in Colorado Springs specialize in treating respiratory disease such as asthma and COPD and even have ongoing clinical research trials to develop new medications for cutting edge therapy for these diseases. If you believe you or a loved one is experiencing COPD-like symptoms, don’t wait another day, give us a call here at AACOS and make an appointment TODAY! You will be happy you did!