Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) is referred to as a group of progressive lung diseases. The emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the most common ones among all COPD. Many of the patients who suffer from COPD have both of these disorders. The emphysema in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder destructs air sacs in the lungs slowly, which causes obstruction in outwards airflow. Some other major symptoms are inflammation and narrowing of air tubes, which is a condition that is caused in chronic bronchitis due to which mucus builds up. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder generally has a long term cause and hence long term tobacco smoking and continuous exposure to chemical irritants are the major causes of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder.

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Generally, there is no specific cure for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, but symptoms of COPD can be eased by treatment. Chances of complications in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder can be lowered and quality of life can be improved. Some forms of treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder involve medications, supplemental oxygen therapy and surgery as a last resort. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder can lead to faster progression of the disease along with various heart problems and worsens respiratory tract infections if it is not treated properly on time or in its initial stages. At an outset, over thirty million residents in The United States of America suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder and nearly half of this population is unaware of the fact that they are actually suffering from COPD.

Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)

Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)

Symptoms of COPD can be eased with the right treatment. Complications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder can be prevented, and the disease progression can be lowered generally. Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder includes medication, oxygen therapies, surgery, and changes in the lifestyle of a patient.

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Medications for Managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder

Medications like bronchodilators help in relaxation of muscles of the lung airways that widen the airways so that the patient can breathe easily. Inhalers and Nebulizers are the common pathways through which bronchodilators can be taken. Here, Glucocorticosteroids can be added so as to lower the risk of inflammation of the airways and help greatly in management of COPD.

Oxygen Therapy for Managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder

During lowering down of blood oxygen level, supplemental oxygen can be provided through a mask or nasal cannula which can help the patient to breathe properly. There should be a portable unit which can make it easier to get around.

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Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder with Surgery

In COPD management, surgery should only be done when all other treatments have failed, which generally occurs most likely in severe emphysema. One of the surgery types for treating and managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder is ‘Bullectomy.’ In this surgery for treating and managing COPD, the doctors remove large abnormal air spaces known as bullae from the lungs. Another type is of COPD management surgery is ‘Lung Volume Reduction’ surgery. Here, damaged upper lung tissue is removed. However, in some cases, lung transplantation also may need to be done.

Lifestyle Changes for Managing COPD

Some changes in lifestyle also help in the alleviation and management of symptoms of COPD and relief can be provided. These lifestyle changes for management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder include: quitting smoking for people who smoke, avoiding second-hand smoke or chemical fumes, proper intake of body nutrients, exercising to a safer extent which can be consulted by the doctor.

Different Medications for Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder

Inhaled Bronchodilators. Tight muscles of airways in COPD can be loosened by medicines called bronchodilators. Their intake is normally done by inhaler or nebulizer. Shorter-acting bronchodilators act for 4-6 hours whereas long-acting versions that last for 12 hours can be used daily for managing the symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder.

Corticosteroids. Glucocorticosteroids are generally combined with long-acting inhaled bronchodilators for managing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. Mucus production can be lowered and inflammation can be reduced and corticosteroids are also available in pill form.

Phosphodiesterase-4 Inhibitors. This type of medication can be taken in pill form in case of severe COPD and these medicines help in the reduction of inflammation and lowering down the mucus production in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder.

Theophylline. This medicine eases shortness of breath and tightness of chest felt in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. Flare-ups might also get prevented.

Theophylline is available in pill form. It is an older medication and may produce side-effects. Theophylline is not a first-line therapy for COPD.

Antibiotics and Antivirals. On the development of certain respiratory tract infections, antibiotics and antivirals can be prescribed to the patient for management of COPD symptoms.

Vaccines. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder definitely increases the risk of other respiratory problems. So, thereby, it is advisable to take the yearly flu shot which is a pneumococcal vaccine or the whooping cough vaccine.

Conclusion

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) is a respiratory tract infection, which causes difficulty in breathing. COPD can be managed by treating the disorder in an adequate manner and by changing lifestyle too. However, changes in diet can also lead to alleviation of symptoms and can provide relief to the patient suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 19, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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