Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, more commonly known as COPD, is caused by inhaling pollutants, second-hand smoke, and genetics. Signs of COPD are breathlessness, wheezing and constant coughing, and tightness in the chest. These symptoms can easily be confused with a simple cold or just the effects of getting older, but COPD can get worse as time goes on and is highly recommended to get treated.
If diagnosed with COPD, do not get discouraged. There are many treatments and ways to slow progression. It is a growing disease that doctors are very familiar with, so you should never feel as if your case is a lost cause.
You may have heard the acronym before, but here are 6 things you didn’t know about COPD:
Almost 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease.
It kills 120,000 people in America every year. This places it as the third leading cause of death in the country.
A healthy diet can actually help lower your risk for getting COPD later in life. Eat foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins A, C, and E.
Working out and getting regular exercise can help lower your risk or improve symptoms if you have already been diagnosed. During the exercise, you could experience heavy coughing and aggravation, but it helps in the long term.
Although smokers are at a higher risk, all people over 40 can be affected and should talk to their doctors if any symptoms are experienced.
Emphysema goes hand in hand with COPD and is a lung disease with the same symptoms.
If you or someone you know is worried about their lung health, seeing a pulmonologist is always a good idea. A pulmonologist is a specialized doctor that treat a numerous amount of lung diseases and can give patients options on how to reduce symptoms that might be putting a hold on their day to day life.