Changes in the lungs caused by COPD can also cause other diseases. Among the diseases that COPD patients catch more often, there is also the infection of coronavirus symptoms. As a result of research, patients with COPD are more exposed to this virus.
Symptoms of COPD
COPD usually does not cause symptoms until permanent lung damage has occurred. However, once symptoms appear, they will steadily worsen over time, unless causative factors, such as smoking, are removed. In general, we can list the symptoms that manifest themselves as follows;
- Shortness of breath, especially during physical activities
- Wheezing and shortness of breath
- chest tightness
- Sputum that may be white, yellow, or green in color
- Cyanosis (a bluish discoloration of the skin, especially around the mouth, eyes, and nails)
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Fatigue and weakness
- Unwanted weight loss (in advanced stages)
- Swelling in the ankles, feet, or legs
Diagnosis of COPD
The diagnosis of COPD is typically based on a combination of medical history, a physical exam, and pulmonary function tests, which measure the amount of air a person can exhale and how quickly they can do so.
Lung damage in COPD, once it has occurred, is not curable or reversible. However, treatments can alleviate the symptoms of the disease, eliminate the complications related to the disease, or help slow the rapid course of the disease.
Untreated COPD patients, on the other hand, cannot even do their daily activities as the disease progresses and may become bedridden after a while. If a person diagnosed with COPD is a smoker, he or she should quit smoking as soon as possible. Quitting smoking will stop the increase in lung damage and will allow the person to breathe more easily.
There are four distinct stages of COPD disease. These; light, medium, heavy and very heavy. Treatment methods may vary depending on the stage of COPD disease and the condition of the person. Drug applications include sprays and drugs given by special machines.
Prevention is key to avoiding COPD, and the most effective way to prevent the disease is to quit smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke and other lung irritants. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can also help improve lung function and reduce the risk of developing COPD.