What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an obstructive pulmonary disease characterized by persistent airflow limitation. The main symptoms of shortness of breath, cough and phlegm are often mistaken for colds or asthma, so more than 80% of the diagnosis is moderate to severe. COPD is a progressive disease, which means that it will deteriorate over time, and it is difficult to carry out daily activities such as walking, clothing, and other activities. Studies show acute onset of pulmonary obstruction patients The hospitalization mortality rate is 4 per cent, the older and more comorbidities are higher, while the death rate is 22 per cent one year after the patient’s discharged.

In the past, COPD was classified as Chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The term chronic bronchitis is now used to describe cough, phlegm for more than three months per year for two consecutive years after other known causes other than chronic cough; emphysema refers to the distal end of the lungs Unusually persistent dilation of the air cavity, accompanied by the destruction of alveoli and bronchial, without significant pulmonary fibrosis.

Is Smoking a culprit in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Smoking is the most important cause of COPD. Other relatively minor factors include air pollution and heredity. In developing countries, the most common cause of air pollution is poor ventilation of cooking and heating furnaces. Long-term exposure to this environment can cause inflammatory reactions in the lungs and lead to narrowing of small airways and damage to lung tissue. This diagnosis is based on airflow limitations given by the pulmonary function test. Unlike asthma, COPD does not improve as much after the use of bronchodilators.

Reducing exposure to risk factors can effectively prevent most COPD. This includes minimizing smoking frequency and improving indoor and outdoor air quality. Although treatment can slow down the deterioration, there is no cure. Treatment for COPD includes smoking cessation, vaccination, pulmonary rehabilitation, as well as a variety of commonly used inhalation bronchodilators and corticosteroids. Some patients also require long-term oxygen absorption or lung transplantation. In patients with acute onset, increases the dose, frequency and hospitalization of short-acting bronchodilators.


The most common symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are phlegm, shortness of breath, and persistent cough, which continue for a long time and exacerbate over time. It is not clear whether there are different types of COPD. Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases are recorded as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. However, emphysema is more a description of lung function than a disease; chronic bronchitis is only Just a reference to a symptom, it may be induced by COPD.


The usual first symptom of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a persistent cough. When this symptom lasts for two years, and a constant cough is more than 3 months per year, accompanied by phlegm, and no other explanation can be found, then this is the theory of chronic bronchitis. The above symptoms are highly likely to occur until COPD is fully exposed. The amount of sputum with cough changes over the course of the day. Some patients don’t even cough, or just occasionally cough, and cough is less frequent. Some patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may also be mistaken for a “smoker’s cough”. Due to social and cultural influences, patients may spit or spit. Severe cough can also cause fractures of ribs or temporary loss of consciousness. Usually the cough of COPD has a long history of common cold.

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath is the symptom most plaguing patients with COPD. Patients often describe it as such: “I’m breathing too hard,” “I can’t breathe,” or “I can’t breathe enough oxygen.” Different cultures have different sayings. The exacerbation of shortness of breath occurs mainly when prolonged force is required and increases over time. In the late stage of COPD, shortness of breath also occurs at rest. This occurs in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, usually have an anxious character and a low quality of living. Many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease breathe through the pout lip, but this can exacerbate shortness of breath in some patients.

Other Symptoms

In patients with COPD, it is possible that exhale takes longer than inhalation. In this case there will be chest tightness. But this is not common, and other diseases can lead to tightness. Patients with obstructive airflow problems may be accompanied by wheezing or may hear a sound of reduced inhalation when examining the patient’s chest with a stethoscope. Although barrel thoracic is a sign of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, this is also not common. As the condition increases, some patients have to breathe in a tripod position

The late stage of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease causes pulmonary hypertension, which causes the right ventricle of the heart. This is pulmonary heart disease, which can lead to swollen legs and protrusions in the neck. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the main cause of pulmonary heart disease in comparison with other lung diseases. The incidence of pulmonary heart disease has decreased significantly since the intensive use of oxygen therapy.

COPD usually does not occur alone due to the presence of other causes. These dangerous causes include: ischemic heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, muscle atrophy, osteoporosis, lung cancer, anxiety, asthma, depression. Those with severe conditions also often get tired. Fingernail pestle is not a characteristic symptom of COPD; rather, it should be considered as a sign of lung cancer.


Acute chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is theoretically defined as exacerbated shortness of breath, a sharp increase in the amount of cough, and a change in the color of sputum (from colorless to green or yellow) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or aggravated coughing, etc. Acute chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can also occur simultaneously with enhanced respiratory signs. For example, shortness of breath, increased heartbeat, sweating, pronounced respiratory muscle movements, cyanosis and nervous disorders, or a series of respiratory struggles in severe cases. When examining the patient with a stethoscope, it is also possible to hear a tear in the lungs.


Read: COPD Patients – How to care for them