What Is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a general term that is used to refer to numerous diseases of the lungs. The various lung disorders that are incorporated within the term COPD are:-
- Chronic bronchitis
- Refractory asthma
COPD is usually characterized by breathlessness or shortness of breath. However, cases of COPD have also been diagnosed without the presence of this symptom. A spirometry test is used to confirm the presence of COPD.
Today, COPD is a global problem that affects most of the adult population. In the US alone, there are more than 24 million diagnosed cases of COPD.
What Are the Symptoms of COPD?
COPD shows different symptoms in different people. This is because this is not a single condition but could refer to several similar lung-related issues. The following are some of the common symptoms that are observed:-
- Breathless or shortness of breath
- A tight or constricted feeling in the chest
- Occasional wheezing
- Frequent bouts of coughing (either dry or with sputum)
Though each of these symptoms might point to other issues, if they are persistent, then they usually indicate the presence of some kind in the respiratory tract.
What Happens in COPD?
When a person has COPD, it means that their breathing pathways are obstructed in some manner. One or more of the following things might be the case:-
- The entire respiratory system, especially the tubes — pharynx and bronchi — need to be elastic in order to inhale and exhale air. COPD might indicate that these tubes have lost their elasticity and become rigid.
- The lungs have millions of air sacs that are known as alveoli. These are in contact with the blood capillaries with which they exchange gases from the air. The alveoli have very thin walls. If the walls thicken, this exchange won’t be possible and the breathing quality drastically deteriorates.
- The alveoli have spaces between them. COPD might indicate that these spaces have become clogged for some reason.
- It is possible that the bronchial tubes are secreting more mucus than necessary. This mucus, which is in excess, might have hardened up and now forming a layer on the inner walls of the bronchi. This can hamper the respiration quality.
What Is the Cause of COPD?
CODP is an obstruction of the airways, which can occur anywhere between the nasal cavity to the lungs. It is mostly observed in the bronchi, the two tubes that start from the trachea (windpipe) and enter each lung. The bronchi have an inner lining of mucus glands to withhold any offensive particles from entering into the lungs. But if the number of such undesirable particles increases, then the bronchi secrete more mucus.
Over a period of time, this increases mucus secretion could make the bronchial tubes to harden and then swell up, thus restricting their cross-sectional area. This leads to breathing difficulties and might blow up into COPD.
This is the physical cause of COPD that is brought about by particles such as smoke, fumes, dust, etc. However, there are genetic factors that might cause COPD as well.
What Are the Risk Factors of COPD?
Some people have a higher vulnerability to develop COPD than others. The following are some of the major risk factors that have been identified.
- Smoking — Smoking is a major cause of COPD. This includes the smoke from cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, and any other method of inhaling fumes into the respiratory tract. It is seen that COPD develops in most smokers to some extent once they cross the age of 40 years. Nonsmokers are not completely safe from this factor too, as passive smoking done through secondhand smoke is equally responsible for the development of COPD.
- Chemicals — Several hazardous chemicals, especially those that give off fumes in the environment, can lead to the development of COPD. This makes COPD an occupational hazard in some workplaces such as factories.
- Dust — Dust particles might get clogged into the respiratory system and lead to COPD. They enter with the inhaled air. Dust can also complicate existing COPD cases by causing allergies.
- Genetic Factors — There is a hereditary tendency to develop COPD as well, especially if one of the two parents is a sufferer of the disease.
What Care Must Be Taken by People with COPD?
If you have been diagnosed with COPD, then the following care must be taken:-
- Quit smoking if you are a smoker. Also, try to avoid places where people smoke.
- Avoid inhaling any strong odors or chemicals. This includes the strong fragrances that are found in home fresheners, perfumes, deodorants and such.
- Perform breathing exercises. You will find several exercises on the Internet that could help you to maximize your breathing potential.
- Keep away from all kinds of strong odors. These odors have chemicals in them that can irritate the inner regions of your respiratory system.
- Keep your house and surroundings clean. Someone must remove the dust from the spaces and things you handle.
- Follow up with your medical professional according to the given schedule. They will assess how your treatment is progressing. Remember that COPD might not show any symptoms on the outside but could be complicated internally.
A Few Things to Bear in Mind
Most forms of COPD, especially emphysema, are chronic. Once they set in, there is no cure. The person has to learn to live with the condition. However, even if they are chronic, it is not necessary that they be fatal. If proper care is taken, the person can lead a long, healthy life despite the condition of COPD.
It is important to get the diagnosis early. At the first sign of breathing difficulties, you must visit a doctor who will tell you whether you need a spirometry test. If this is delayed, there will be more damage to the small air sacs in your lungs known as the alveoli. You must know that the damage to the alveoli is permanent.
Health pack for chronic obstructive pulmonary Disease
- Sitopladi Churan – Sitopladi churan is a classical ayurvedic herbal preparation that not only helps in improving the respiratory tract disorders but is also helpful in improving immunity. It is helpful in elimination of excess mucus that is a feeding ground of bacteria’s and other infections. It is also a great herbal support to cough and cold. Sitopladi churan is also helpful in improving the overall health condition of our respiratory system.
- Sphatika Bhasama – Divya Sphatika bhasam is an herbal preparation of potash alum that is in general used as an anti-microbial agent. It not only helps in evasion of bacterias and other infection causing agents but also helps in evading the excessive mucus that is feeding ground of the infectious agents. It is also helpful in reducing the intensity of irritation in the throat and nasal tract.
- Swasri Ras – Divya Swasri ras is one of the wonderful herbal products that have been created to tackle the problem of COPD. It helps in regulating the upper respiratory tract infections. It is also helpful in boosting immunity in the body necessary to fight against the infection and invasion of foreign body.
- Abhrak bhasam – Divya Abrak bhasam is another herbo-mineral classical preparation of ayurveda that do wonders in dealing with COPD problem. COPD as name suggests is a chronic problem hence it is needed to be dealt in a strict way and Abhrak bhasam does it. It helps in elimination of excessive mucus that feeds the infection in the body. It is also helpful in strengthening the immunity necessary in case of COPD.
- Tankan Bhasam – Divya tankan Bhasam is an ayurvedic herbal supplement that is extremely beneficial in dealing with any sort of cough and cold. It is helpful in treating all sorts of mucus related problems and hence proves itself in case of COPD. Tankan bhasam is a very safe herbo-mineral ayurvedic supplement as itt can even be given to a new bon child. It is also famous with a name suhaaga.
- Tribuvankirti ras – Tribhuvan kirti ras is a very helpful herbal supplement of ayurveda that helps in elimination of musucs from the lungs and respiratory tract. It is also a wonderful antipyretic agent that helps in bringing down the fever from the body. It helps in reduction in excessive body temperature that may be damaging for the brain. It is commonly known as “Paracetamol” of ayurveda.
- Swasri Kwath – Swasri Kwath is an herbal decoction that is helpful in reducing the effect of infection in the body. It is also helpful in reducing the symptoms of coughing and chest congestion that causes discomfort in the body. It is also helpful in evading the infection in the body.
How to consume Heath pack for COPD
Mix all the ingredients from 1 to 7 in a grinder and make a powder out of it. Now consume this mixture ¾ teaspoon three times a day with honey.
Take swasri kwath as herbal tea. Boil 1 teaspoon of this mixture in 2 cups of water. On reduction to half consume it.