COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a preventable and treatable disease that is caused by breathing in dangerous chemicals, gases, and particles from your environment. Many processes which release these harmful substances can be avoided:
· The main risk factor is cigarette smoke. Other forms of smoking can also damage the lungs including E-cigarettes, vaping, and inhaled forms of marijuana. All these activities expose the lungs to similar gases, chemicals and even heavy metals like lead, tin and nickel.
· Other harmful chemicals come from burning biomass fuels like wood, gasoline, oils, and coal. On a large scale, these forms of energy production increase air pollution.
· Around 20% of COPD in the United States is caused by work-related exposures. Proper safety equipment at work is essential.
· Around 20% of COPD in the United States is caused by work-related exposures. Proper safety equipment at work is essential, especially on construction/demolition worksites plus manufacturing or mining jobs, as dust can affect your lungs due to frequent exposure. Cleaning chemicals can also be harmful.
· Risk factors you inherit from your family also play a role in whether you develop COPD and how severe your disease may become.
COPD causes persistent respiratory symptoms such as cough, wheezing, mucus production and shortness of breath. These symptoms may come in waves or attacks called “exacerbations” and may not be present all the time. Measurement of abnormal airflow through the lungs is used to see whether you have COPD. “Spirometry” is a very simple and painless test which measures how quickly you move air in and out of your lungs. The test is performed easily by healthcare providers to determine whether you have COPD.
While prevention is the most important priority, treatment IS available for COPD. Types of treatment range from inhalers, pills, rehabilitation, and infusions to advanced procedures performed inside the airways. CritACuity Medical Group can help with all of your pulmonary health needs. Call 1-844-CRITACUITY.