Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD):

Also COLD (chronic obstructive lung disease) and COAD (chronic obstructive airway disease)
COPD – collective term covers chronic bronchitis, emphysema and some cases of chronic asthma. Defined as a slowly progressive reduction in maximum expiratory flow and slow forced emptying of the lungs.

Aetiology:
Smoking is most common cause. Other risk factors include airway hyperreactivity, respiratory infections, occupational exposures, air pollution, poor nutrition, lower socioeconomic status, crowded living environment

Clinical features:
If mild  “smokers cough” (chronic persistent cough); exertional dyspnoea
If moderate  exertional dyspnoea, wheeze, cough, may have sputum
If severe  breathlessness, wheeze, cough, swollen legs

Management:
Reduce bronchial irritation (stop smoking; avoidance of dusty atmospheres)
Antibiotic treatment of infection
Bronchodilators
Gentle aerobic exercise to improve endurance
Oxygen therapy

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