Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the most common lung disorder all over the world. A person suffering from COPD finds difficulty in breathing due to chronic air flow obstruction. Chronic bronchitis and Emphysema are two diseases which form COPD.
In chronic bronchitis, the cough lasts from three months or more in a year. Emphysema is defined as permanent, abnormal distension of air space distal to the bronchioles (tiny air sacs). The alveoli (air sacs) become weak and lose its elasticity.
COPD is generally encountered in people over the age of 40 years. Males are more frequently affected than females because of smoking. Most cases of COPD are caused due to long term smoking. The condition is equally prevalent in rural and urban population. Various etiological reasons are detailed below.
What Are The Main Causes Of COPD?
It is a lung disease that affects people over the age of 40.
- Cigarette smoking is the most prevalent and important risk factor in development of COPD. The culprit is the vaporized chemical and particles suspended in the smoke. Greater is the total tobacco exposure, more is the possibility of developing COPD. Morbidity and mortality is high among people who smoke pipe and cigar. The cumulated amount of tobacco smoked is related to its adverse effects. A person exposed to second hand smoke for a prolonged period of time can also suffer from COPD.
- The incidence of COPD is higher in industrialized urban areas. Episodes of exacerbation of COPD symptoms are high where there is heavy pollution with sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.
- Certain occupations where the person is exposed to chemical fumes and vapors for long duration may suffer from COPD.
Familial and genetic factors:
- Familial aggregation for chronic bronchitis is well known and mainly it is related to indoor air pollution and passive smoking.
- Deficiency of alfa –antitrypsin is the genetic factor which is often responsible for development of COPD.
Home Remedies For Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
There is no permanent cure for COPD. Once the lungs tissues are damaged its reversal is not possible. However, the treatment is aimed to control the symptoms, their exacerbation and eventually make the patient comfortable to leave an active life.
- Stop smoking: it is one of the main steps to slow down progression of COPD. Patient may need counseling as to quit smoking suddenly may be a difficult task. Other measures that may help him to quit smoking include Nicotine replacement therapy in the form of trans-dermal patch.
- Patient suffering from COPD should avoid dusty environment. Sometimes this may involve change of occupation.
- Clear airways: since there is lot of accumulation of mucus in the respiratory tract, it is necessary to keep the airway clear. Drink enough water, use humidifier which will help to expel the mucus easily and make breathing easier.
- Breathing exercises: physiotherapy breathing exercises are beneficial for strengthening the lug muscles and lung. You should consult a physiotherapist who will teach breathing techniques. Also exercise in general helps to strengthen the respiratory muscles and endurance.
- Diet: eat healthy food. Eat fruits and vegetables which are rich source of vitamins and minerals. Diet which is healthy and nutritious helps to keep your immune system in good shape and prevent recurrent lung infection which is very common in people suffering from COPD. Vitamin C and magnesium present in different fruits and vegetables are effective in improving lung function in those who suffer from COPD.
- Obesity: Reduce your weight if you are obese.
- Drink a cup of black tea 2 to 3 times in a day. It has a compound called theophylline. Theophylline is used as a broncho-dilator in many modern remedies.
- Yoga: certain Asana in yoga are effective in reducing the symptoms of COPD.
- Fennel tea: it is useful for controlling coughing caused due to acute and chronic bronchitis.
COPD is usually a progressive disease which has episodes of exacerbation and remissions. Eventually it causes respiratory and heart failure. Few patient having chronic bronchitis do not develop severe airway obstruction, they have better prognosis.