COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
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COPD is a disease of the lungs. Your lungs are a pair of spongy air-filled organs. You take in air via your windpipe (trachea) and its tubular branches, known as bronchi. These bronchi break into smaller branches called bronchioles that actually get very small, microscopic in fact, and end in sacs called alveoli.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease. It causes chronic inflammation of the lungs which obstructs airflow. The most common contributing conditions to COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is when the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes inflamed. These tubes carry air to the air sacs (alveoli). The inflammation makes it hard to breathe.
Emphysema is another chronic condition of the lungs. It occurs when the alveoli at the end of the smallest air passages (bronchioles) of the lungs are destroyed. The destruction usually results from damaging exposure to cigarette smoke, irritating gases, or other particulate matter.
COPD symptoms include:
COPD Health Manifestation
In seniors, COPD is a serious concern because it can lead to complications. For example:
CarePlanIt classifies every issue into one of five key areas: health, housing, finances, end-of-life chores & family communication. Once done, the CarePlanIt framework allows you to create an optimized process of addressing the challenge. You minimize your family’s time and costs while maximizing your chance at reaching an ideal solution. Although all five categories work together, it’s important to make an initial categorization.
COPD is a “Health” issue. This disease can lead to much more serious conditions. Even the basic symptoms like shortness of breath can lower a senior’s ability to perform ADLs and IADLs.
> Quit smoking
> Make sure your home is well ventilated
> Avoid going outdoors or exercising when air pollution is bad
> Avoid dust and chemical fumes
> Avoid second-hand smoke
> Consult with your physician
Additional Resources On COPD
A great article about COPD from the CDC can be found here.
Also, see our article about pneumonia here.