COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary (lung) Disease) is a common form of chronic lung disease found all over the world. It is an abbreviation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. Pulmonary refer to lungs. It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Bronchitis is discussed separately. Here we will focus on Emphysema.

Emphysema is a chronic progressive disease of the lung. It is caused by the destruction of tissue surrounding air sacs (alveoli) in lungs. Due to this, alveoli cannot retain air inside them ultimately leading to shortness of breath.

Causes of COPD:

Major causes include smoking and pollution.

Symptoms of COPD:

Patients suffer lack of oxygen and excess of carbon dioxide in the lungs. Patient exhibit shortness of breath. Symptoms usually get increased by physical activity. Eventually, it will occur after any physical exertion. Later on, the patient may complain of rapid breathing (tachypnoea). They may also lose weight. The anteroposterior diameter of the chest may increase (barrel chest).

Diagnosis of COPD:

Diagnosis of COPD is done by the doctor with the help of clinical examination and some simple tests, which include:

  • Spirometry (Lung function test)
  • X-ray chest
  • Complete blood count
  • Blood test to rule out tuberculosis
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