COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)Four letters that are likely to raise the question in many people's minds: "What is COPD actually??" This disease is a chronic lung disease. The abbreviation stands for the English name of the disease: "chronic obstructive pulmonary disease". The term "obstructive" describes the fact that the airways are narrowed in COPD. This can be manifested by shortness of breath – initially under exertion, later also at rest. Other COPD symptoms besides shortness of breath include coughing and sputum (AHA symptoms). Because this lung disease progresses in different stages, it can severely affect the quality of life of sufferers as it progresses.
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Targeted and early treatment can help to positively influence the course of the disease and prevent so-called exacerbations, i.e. episodes of illness or acute deterioration. In the treatment of COPD, long-term medication plays an important role, in addition to on-demand medication in acute cases, e.g. B. with bronchodilator drugs, an important role. As an additional treatment for chronic. Inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract have been successfully treated with the natural substance cineol (e.g. cineole). proven in Soledum ® addicur) with its expectorant and anti-inflammatory action.
In addition to this drug therapy, non-drug measures such as physical training, special education and respiratory physiotherapy can help to maintain the quality of life despite the disease.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) mainly affects smokers. Read more about causes, symptoms and treatment here.
Medicines for COPD
As an additional treatment for chronic and inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract
In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the bronchi are not only permanently inflamed, but also constricted.
Causes and risk factors for COPD
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a persistent and usually progressive airway constriction accompanied by an increased inflammatory response in the airways triggered by long-term inhalation of particles and gases.
COPD and smoking
Over 80 percent of COPD patients are or were smokers. Smoking is thus one of the most important causes of this chronic lung disease. Inflammation destroys the cilia on the inner wall of the bronchial tubes. These are responsible for clearing the airways of particles, such as z. B. germs and dust, responsible. If they are destroyed, the bronchial tubes gradually become blocked.
Attention: Passive smoking can also increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Other risk factors for COPD
In addition to smoking, risk factors for COPD include repeated viral infections in childhood, certain congenital factors, and long-term exposure of the lungs to irritants and pollutants.
Accordingly, (rarer) causes of COPD can be:
– exhaust fumes – ozone – chemical substances (z. B. ammonia) – fine dust u. a. from copiers or printers
Symptoms of lung disease
The typical symptoms of COPD are Aetc. sputum, Huses and Atemnot – according to the initials of these disease signs, experts also speak abbreviated of "AHA-symptoms". In the initial stage, shortness of breath usually appears only after physical exertion. As the disease progresses, it often occurs even at rest. The fatal thing: The cough in COPD is often initially misinterpreted as a "smoker's cough," because typically the cough (with sputum) also torments those affected by COPD, especially in the morning. Diagnosis and start of treatment are delayed accordingly, because the visit to the doctor is delayed. Breathlessness then increases as the disease progresses. There are four stages of COPD in total:
At first stage The disease usually manifests itself as a chronic cough and sputum, initially only during physical exertion. This is due to z. B. Due to the fact that the lungs are contaminated by constant exposure to pollutants or irritants.
In second stage bronchial tubes narrow, damage occurs in the lung tie. Signs of the disease are still usually only noticeable under exertion.
In the Third stage COPD becomes noticeable even under low levels of exertion. The lungs are no longer fully functional, which manifests itself in shortness of breath during everyday activities. At this stage, there may already be (incipient) emphysema, in which the alveoli are pathologically overinflated and oxygen transport is reduced. patient is only able to bear a small amount. Has shortness of breath even at rest. So strong that he often cannot blow out a candle from only 15 centimeters away. Because the body is no longer sufficiently supplied with oxygen, some organs change. The heart has to pump harder, so the right part of the heart muscle thickens and the heart becomes weaker. Experts call this phenomenon "cor pulmonale". As a result, water can form in the legs. stored in the rest of the body. In addition, the chest circumference increases as a result of the overinflated alveoli, leading to what is known as a fass thorax.