These 2 diseases of the lungs and the airways are common. They are usually referred to as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which is a common cause of death. The distinction between COPD and allergic and non-allergic asthma is very important because the treatment for each condition is different.
COPD Sufferers have one or more of the following complaints:
- Chronic cough with or without exertion
- Shortness of breath on exertion or even at rest
- Wheezing, a whistling noise from the lungs
- Chest tightness with huffing and puffing
- Blowing air from pursed lips offer some help
- Long history of untreated or poorly managed asthma
- Production of large amount of sputum specially in the morning
Cigarette smoking can result in emphysema and chronic bronchitis, although many of the emphysema and chronic bronchitis sufferers have never smoked. Neglected asthma can lead to emphysema. The role that allergy and asthma play in leading to emphysema is being aggressively investigated at this time. Symptoms are usually chronic but gradually progressive to the extent that the disease progresses unnoticed even by the afflicted individuals themselves.
This group of respiratory diseases needs special medical attention to allow for early detection and early treatment to slowdown the progression of the disease and prevent serious complications and premature death. Early detection and early treatment will slowdown the progression of the disease and prevent serious complications and premature death.
Paying no or insufficient attention to the slowly progressive symptoms of COPD, and leaving them unchecked is a serious mistake. The use of lung function tests is highly recommended for early detection of COPD.
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