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Smoking And COPD

COPD is not a single disease, it stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is a common term used for a host of other respiratory diseases. They are:

A) Emphysema: Emphysema is caused by continued exposure to environmental pollution, especially tobacco smoke. It destroys the delicate structure of the lungs by damaging the air sacs or the alveoli. This results in fewer and larger air sacs which makes it difficult for the person to inhale and exhale. Larger sacs mean less usable oxygen which results into breathlessness. Damage from this disease is irreversible and permanent.

B) Chronic bronchitis: It is a condition where some irritant such as cigarette smoke causes the lungs to inflame. This inflammation creates more mucus and the end result is chronic cough and breathing difficulty.

To start with proper medications, it is important to know the symptoms of the disease. They are:
1) Cough
2) Mucus
3) Tightness of chest
4) Shortness of breath
5) Wheezing

If you have any of these symptoms, you may consult a physician immediately. The earlier you start a treatment, the more are your chances of arresting the damage caused due to COPD. Your physician is more likely to know the exact damage to your lungs and prescribe treatment accordingly. But quitting smoking is the best way to nurture your lungs. Your lung function may not return to 100 percent as it was before, but you should not get discouraged. Your breathing will improve tremendously and you will feel better. Quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of many life-threatening diseases. Many human beings with COPD, after kicking the habit, live productive, happy and long lives.