Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is currently the fourth leading cause of death worldwide and is estimated to be the third in 2020, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The main drawback of COPD is decreasing breathing capacity, typically unrecoverable. The snuff is the main and almost sole cause of the disease. Smoking cessation is the primary measure to prevent its progression, but the use of bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids improves lung function.
Causes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
In Spain, and in general, in developed countries, smoking is the main (and almost only) cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). have shown no difference in the production of COPD according to the different kinds of snuff (blond or black). Also, "light" cigarettes have not shown to reduce the incidence of COPD.
There is a rare hereditary form of the disease: the deficit of alpha-1-antitriopsina. This is a protein that is responsible for defending the lung. Its deficit can cause COPD and also usually severe forms of the disease. You can perform a regular screening of this process, using a simple blood test.
Symptoms of COPD risk
Cough and shortness of breath, choking or difficulty breathing feeling, are the cardinal symptoms of COPD. It notes that breathlessness may occur when you have already lost much of respiratory capacity, which normally is not recoverable. It is appropriate, therefore, consult your physician experienced in Pneumology , given the persistent cough for more than three months, albeit scarce and only morning.
Preventing worsening of COPD and treatment recommendations
Quitting smoking is the only measure that has been effective in preventing the worsening of the disease. Also, the use of drugs such as bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids improves lung function, symptoms and delay the worsening of the disease.
A proper vaccination program and healthy lifestyle habits, such as walking 30 minutes daily to avoid being overweight also help improve symptoms and prolong patient survival. In advanced cases with severe deterioration of respiratory function, pulmonary rehabilitation programs and home oxygen, they have been also effective.
Advances in the treatment of COPD
A pharmacological level, currently include fixed dose combinations of long-acting bronchodilators, which have shown improvement in lung function, symptoms, exercise tolerance and quality of life in general. However, the most important measure is smoking cessation.
Edited by Roser Berner Ubasos.