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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is among the leading causes of death, and although it is preventable, very few individuals are aware of its effect. It can lead to reduced quality of life and prolonged suffering by causing progressive lung damage and narrowing of air passages. Airways can sometimes block, which makes breathing increasingly difficult. The challenge of breathing becomes severe with time making it impossible for one to move or carry out other activities.

Symptoms of COPD

There is no cure for COPD, but the progression is usually slow, and thus, symptoms are treatable and manageable. COPD is a condition that entails different respiratory diseases associated with severe breathing difficulties. The main conditions associated with COPD are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The condition leads to deterioration of lungs and narrowing of air passages and bronchial tubes, resulting in clogging of airways.

There is a wide range of symptoms you can experience. They include consistent coughing, shortness of breath, sudden weight loss, a large amount of mucus, swelling of limbs as well as increased respiratory infections.

COPD statistics

According to the CDC, the number of diagnosed COPD is estimated at around 15.7 million, while millions undiagnosed because symptoms are unreported. In 2015 a National Health Survey indicated that around 3.5 million Americans had emphysema while approximately 9.3 million had chronic bronchitis.

There is no COPD cure

COPD is a progressive disease that worsens with time and can result in death or disability. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a cure, but the symptoms are treatable and manageable to minimize progression. Treatment can also help in controlling symptoms as well as help in alleviating suffering.

Treatment regimens are specific to each individual and depend on different factors. It depends on symptoms experienced, the severity of COPD, response to medication as well as if the person suffers from other conditions.

COPD is a catalyst for other health issues

COPD leaves one vulnerable to other respiratory diseases such as lung cancer. It can also increase the possibility of complications results from viruses, colds, flu, pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases. You could also be vulnerable to developing diabetes, pulmonary hypertension, and heart disease.