November is world COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) awareness month. There are two forms of COPD, which are Chronic Bronchitis, and Emphysema. These are pulmonary diseases which cause difficulty in breathing, chest tightness, wheezing, chronic cough, swelling in ankles etc.
Smoking is the number one cause of COPD. Other causes of COPD include Environmental exposure such as dust, silica, and air pollutants.
Bronchitis can lead to mucus and air being trapped in the lungs which can increase the risk of getting pneumonia, or other infections in the lungs.
Emphysema leads to air sacs in the lungs being damaged and eventually close off and cause air trapping, which reduces the amount of space available within the lungs.
COPD can be treated, but not cured. Early detection of COPD is very important to slow the damage caused by the disease. Medicine and therapy can be used to treat people living with COPD and ensure they live a long life, but if not detected until late stages of COPD, life expectancy is short.
For more information, visit the COPD Foundation website at: https://www.copdfoundation.org/
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