The symptoms and treatment of COPD
What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)? What is the reason for its occurrence? What are the symptoms? What is needed in the diagnosis of COPD treatment?
COPD: causes and development
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - a disease in which there is restriction of breathing of the patient caused by an abnormal inflammatory response of lung tissue to the irritation of different particles and gases.
There are two forms of the disease:
- Chronic bronchitis - inflammation of bronchi, in which there is production of mucus, thickening of the walls of the bronchi, narrowing the Airways.
- Emphysema - damage to and loss of elasticity of lung alveoli (part of the lung tissue), where they cease to contract normally. As a result, the blood is not receiving enough oxygen.
COPD provokes prolonged exposure to various pathogenic factors. Such as Smoking (active and passive), inhaling for a long time chemical vapors and dust, as well as infectious diseases.
The process begins in the mucosa of bronchi, where the infection develops, which gradually and affects the bronchi and then to the pulmonary alveoli. Obstructive disease is a long pathological process, which in the early stages may not show any symptoms.
Often suffer from COPD older than 60 years.
Who falls into a risk group?
There are conditions under which the risk of disease COPD significantly increases:
- Smoking, including passive in childhood is the most common cause of this disease.
- Working with chemicals (cadmium, silicon). The risk group includes workers in the mining, metallurgical, pulp and paper industry; miners; construction workers working with cement.
- Environmental factors.
- Adverse living conditions.
- Bronchial Hyper-reactivity.
- Deficiency of b-1-antitrypsin. This genetic abnormality leads to imbalance between proteases and antiproteases activity of the lung tissue that gradually leads to the destruction of lung tissue.
- High IgE levels.
How to manifest?
While COPD symptoms can appear gradually, depending on the extent of the disease:
- Chronic cough with phlegm. First appears in the morning hours, with time increasing and continuing at any time of the day.
- Shortness of breath after minor physicalvoltage. Shortness of breath during meals.
- Constant headaches uncertain localization, dizziness, sleepiness, caused by lack of oxygen entering the blood in limited quantities due to breathing difficulties.
- Physical weakness.
- The decrease in body mass.
- The skin becomes bluish tint.
Depending on the severity of the disease and the impact on the patient's condition there are four degrees of COPD:
- Easy. Recurrent cough with separation of a small amount of sputum. The spirometry parameters: forced expiratory volume over 80%.
- Average. Quickens cough, shortness of breath after physical exertion. The spirometry parameters: forced expiratory volume 50-80% of normal.
- Heavy. Shortness of breath after the slightest physical effort, frequent exacerbations of the disease, followed by pulmonary infection. The spirometry parameters: forced expiratory volume less than 50% of normal.
- It is extremely heavy. The development of severe pulmonary insufficiency, severe symptoms. The impossibility of carrying out spirometry due to the serious condition of the patient.
How to diagnose?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease diagnosed by a lung specialist based on the results:
- medical history;
- results of spirometry (measurement of volume indices of external respiration with the help of a special device - spirometer);
- CT scan of the chest;
- the results of x-ray examination of the chest;
- the results of clinical blood test;
- the results of the analysis of sputum.
Methods for the treatment of COPD
If you started the process of destruction of lung tissue, stop or reverse it is impossible, that is, to cure obstructive disease impossible. But there is therapy that can slow disease progression and improve quality of life.
Treat COPD need under strict supervision of a specialist. Usually therapy is carried out in home conditions, but under constant supervision of a doctor. Hospitalization is needed during acute and severe stage. Therapy involves a variety of activities, depending on the stage of the disease.
Self-treatment of COPD may exacerbate the disease and lead to serious consequences.
Etiopathogenetic events. Stage of treatment - removal of pathogenic factors: smokers should give up cigarettes, workers "harmful" manufactures ought to avoid contact with hazardous chemicals.
In the room where the patient mustto maintain sufficient humidity, the air should be cleaned. It is also important to form a proper diet. All these activities are called etiopathogenetic and are the basis of positive effects of medication.
Medical therapy in stable patient and in the periods of aggravation:
- Conservative treatment in stable condition. In such periods are prescribed medicinal preparations aimed at achieving bronhodilatiruyuschego (bronchodilatory) effect, that is, eliminating bronchospasm is a basic therapy of COPD. Admission medications - most often inhaled. The dose is prescribed by a doctor depending on the severity of the disease. As a symptomatic treatment given oral mucolytics.
- In the period of exacerbation conduct intensive and advanced medical therapy, including bronchodilators, corticosteroids, antibiotics.
Rehabilitation therapy. Medicinal and etiopathogenetic therapy must be supplemented with special physical exercises, the main purpose of which is to increase the showiness of the locomotor apparatus and respiratory system.
Treatment of severe stages of COPD. In advanced cases of the disease should be prevention of upper respiratory tract infections, including vaccination of persons with a severe degree of the disease. In these cases, given oral corticosteroids and oxygen therapy (inhalation of air with a higher oxygen via nasal catheter or mask). If the positive effect of oxygenation is not observed, the required invasive ventilation.
Surgical treatment. Surgical treatment of COPD is to remove large bull, which cause severe shortness of breath, hemoptysis and are foci of persistent infection with bullous emphysema. This treatment is aimed at symptomatic relief and a temporary improvement in the patient's condition. In certain cases, can be carried out lung transplant.