The Facts on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Information Facts About COPD

Have you ever told someone you had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) only to have them look back at you with a glazed look in their eyes? And, when you were finally done explaining it to them, did they continue to ask questions? If so, here is a list of five things that everyone should know about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but were afraid to ask:

1
It is Irreversible and Progressive

Lungs
Purestock/Getty Images

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung disease that causes blockage or narrowing of your airways. This results in a decrease of air both into and out of your lungs. COPD is irreversible; there is no cure. It is also progressive and can get worse over time. With treatment, however, symptoms of COPD can be controlled.

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2
The Disease Is Not Always Caused By Smoking

Smoker's Cough
Coughing: A Common Symptom of Chronic Bronchitis. istockphoto.com

Contrary to popular belief, smoking is not the only risk factor for COPD -- never smokers also fall victim to the disease. Additional risk factors include secondhand smoke, air pollution, workplace exposure and Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, a genetic form of the disease.

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3
Quitting Smoking Is the Best Treatment

quitting smoking treatment for COPD
No More Butts: Quitting Smoking is the #1 Treatment For COPD. istockphoto.com

Quitting smoking is the number one method of prevention and treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, yet it is also the most commonly overlooked. If you have finally decided to quit, nicotine replacement therapy, adjunct medications, exercise and support groups can help get you through the rough times.

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4
Treatment Can Help Ease Symptoms

Emphysema Treatment
Hope for Emphysema With Treatment. istockphoto.com

Treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can help slow the progression of the disease, as well as improve quality of life. Treatment options include quitting smoking, medications, pulmonary rehabilitation, oxygen therapy, immunizations and surgical intervention.

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5
Exercise Is Essential Even if Short of Breath

Exercise and COPD
Exercise and COPD. Photo courtesy of Flickr.com

People with COPD are going to get winded when they exercise. It doesn't mean they should stop exercising. On the contrary, participation in daily exercise is one of the best ways to improve exercise tolerance in COPD and eventually decrease shortness of breath.

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