Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD: 
The most common chronic lung disease.

Chronic:  persisting for a long time

Obstruction:  the state of being clogged

Pulmonary:  pertaining to the lungs or the pulmonary artery

Disease:  a definite morbid process, often with
a characteristic train of symptoms

COPD affects an estimated 17 million Americans, and its incidence is
rising.  It now ranks fifth among the major causes of death in the
United States.  The disorder affects men more frequently than women. 
COPD dosesn’t always produce symptoms and causes only minimal disability
in many patients, it tends to worsen with time.

COPD includes:  emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, or any combination
of them.  Frequently, more than one of these underlying conditions
coexist.  Usually bronchitis and emphysema occur together.

Cause:  May be brought on by cigarette smoking, recurrent
or chronic respiratory infection, and or allergies.


Dyspnea (difficulty breathing) on minimal exertion


See  Emphysema, Chronic bronchitis , and Asthma for further info.

The typical patient is asymptomatic until middle age, when his ability
to exercise or do strenuous work gradually declines, and he begins to develop
a productive cough.


Antibiotic therapy


Oxygen therapy if needed

See Emphysema, Chronic bronchitis, and Asthma for further info.

Patient teaching:  Because most COPD patients receive outpatient
treatment, they need comprehensive teaching to help them comply with therapy
and understand the nature of this chronic, progressive disease.

-Seek  programs in pulmonary rehabilitation

-Avoid respiratory irritants and avoid smoking

-Use bronchodilators as prescribed by your doctor

-Always complete the prescribed course of antibiotic therapy

-Pneumococcal vaccination every 3 years and annual influenza vaccinations
are important preventive measures (discuss it with your doctor)

-To strengthen the muscles of respiration; do slow, deep breath and
exhale through pursed lips

-To help mobilize secretions; cough and get rid of mucous (if secretions
are thick, try 15 glasses of fluid a day, home humidifier, particularly
in the winter.) – Postural drainage and chest physiotherapy helpful.

-It is important to have a balanced diet.