What is COPD: Its Symptoms Diagnosis and Treatment Options

COPD is a progressive Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease which makes a sufferer tough to breathe. The sad part being it gets worse as the time passes. COPD causes cough that makes large amount of slimy substance known as mucus. It also causes wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath and other symptoms. In simple way, when trying to breathe out or exhale, the flow of the air is permanently obstructed and never come back to its normal condition.

This entraps the air in lungs and makes it difficult to breathe. The main cause of COPD is cigarette smoking as the lungs are exposed to smoke for long term and irritates the lungs with chemical fumes. Even dust and air pollution can cause COPD which results in severe breathing problems.

Often people, with this problem, ask about using humidifiers in their room. Whether using humidifier help the COPD or can ease down the symptoms of COPD? Before answering this particular question let us discuss more about this problem in short. This will help you know better about how humidifier helps in COPD.

What are The Symptoms of COPD?

What is COPD

Initially, COPD may lack symptoms or even present mild signs, but as the disease gets severe, the signs usually get worse. The common signs of COPD are:

  • A continuous cough that produces mucus which is often referred as smoker’s cough.
  • Problem in breathing, mainly during physical activity
  • A whistling or high-pitched sound while breathing and
  • Feeling of chest tightness

Symptoms such as swelling in your feet, ankles, legs, lower muscle endurance and weight loss can also be seen in severe problems. Smoking endlessly can damage the lungs at a faster pace and makes you more sick which may require you to have emergency care. To keep safe from severe conditions, you need to change your lifestyle and make inhalation easier. Here are the main symptoms which lets you understand the need to get diagnose yourself:

  • When you are feeling hard to breathe while talking
  • When your fingernails or lips turn grey or blue (the main symptom of declining oxygen level in blood)
  • When you are not active mentally
  • When your heartbeat is fast than normal
  • When the treatment for the mild symptoms is not working

COPD Diagnosis:

COPD is completely based on the indications, symptoms and the test results. While getting the treatment you may be questioned by your doctor about your lifestyle, habits and smoking habits.

Several tests for COPD may also be performed for conforming the problem. Initially the lung test is performed to measure the consistency of air in the lungs when you inhale and exhale.

Spirometry is another test for COPD which may require to be performed for examining your condition. During this test the technician will let you to take deep breathe in and blow hard into the tube which is connected to the small machine for test which is known as Spirometer. This machine measures the quantity of air you breathe out and also measures the speed of the air you blown out.

The other tests for diagnosing the COPD problems may include: Chest CT scan or Chest X-ray, An arterial blood gas test in which the levels of oxygen in the blood is measures with the use of sample of blood taken from your artery. The result of this blood gas test helps in knowing about how worse your COPD is and the need of oxygen therapy to you.

What are The Best COPD Treatment Options?

COPD has no proper treatment so far. However, certain changes in lifestyle and effective COPD treatment can aid you to feel good, be active than before and slow the development of the disease. The objective of treatment includes:

  • Changes in lifestyle like quitting smoking which is an essential step with which you can treat COPD.
  • Avoid second hand smoking and the places of fumes, dust and other toxic substances which enters your lungs through inhaling air.
  • Change your eating habits as a part of treatment by taking advice from your doctor who will suggest frequent meals including nutritional supplements and vitamins and more rest.
  • Advises to increase physical activity as it strengthens muscles and help you breathe in a proper way.
  • Vaccines and therapies to reduce the risk and symptoms.

In case of medicines for COPD treatments, use of Bronchodilators are advised as it relaxes the muscles present around the lungs and helps to open the airways to make breathing normal and easier. Based upon the severity of COPD, use of Bronchodilators is advised to use every day. If at all your COPD is extreme, then a combination of Bronchodilators with inhaled Glucocorticosteroids is suggested which helps to reduce the inflammation in the airways.

Helpful Home Remedies for COPD

As Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a severe long term condition, few of the people prefer to control its discomfort with certain home remedies. This reduces the complications and improves the quality of your life slowly. Below are few natural home remedies for COPD which you can follow to feel relaxed:

  • Count your lifestyle changes which reduce the complications.
  • Quit smoking as this is the first remedy to follow.
  • Improve your physical activity with regular exercise and a simple stroll, golfing and even shopping.
  • Eat healthy diet and maintain weight as underweight may cause problems in breathing.
  • Maintain nutritional balance by eating variety of healthy foods.
  • Follow certain breathing positions and relaxation techniques such as yoga as this affects more on your breathing.
  • Develop medication taking habits as per the prescription and use inhalers to make your breathe, easier than before.
  • Protect yourself from the situations that cause more coughing and breathing problems.
  • Control your feelings and emotions as it may cause difficulties in breathing. Enjoy every moment and be cheerful all the time.
  • Reduce stress as it may shorten breathe. Be calm and stress-free.

Can Humidifier for COPD Help?

Coming to the main question…Does humidifier helps in COPD?

Humidifier helps to keep the air moist and making it easy to cough up phlegm. These are most helpful for improving the indoors especially when the inside air becomes dry during winters (majorly due to continuous use of room heaters).

Remember that the humidifier for COPD must be cool mist to ease the dry air conditions which helps in controlling the COPD and other related respiratory problems. The water and the filters in the humidifier needs to be changed regularly, keeping it hygienically clean.

Overall opting the best humidifier for COPD reduces the nasal irritation making the flow of oxygen easier in the lungs for better breathing. You should definitely make a best choice and buy one now for easing your condition.

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