doctor head
 
  pharmacy and drugs  
search Search
 
       About us       News      A-Z Drugs      Stores      Top Drugs      Contact  
  doctor doctor hand
 
  doctor legs  
 
 
 
 

  Diseases

  Articles/Products

  Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter:
Name:
E-mail:

  Copd

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD comprises primarily of two respiratory diseases namely chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is a condition of irreversible progressive pathological airway disease. Chronic bronchitis is characterized as recurrent, nagging productive cough which lasts for 3 months for at least 2 consecutive years. On the other hand, emphysema is a type of COPD defined as abnormal permanent enlargement of the airways accompanied by destruction of the alveolar walls and septa. The primary preventable etiologic agent of COPD is cigarette smoking compounded by air pollutants, allergy, and infection. In emphysema, cigarette smoking destroys the air sacs by stimulating release of the enzyme elastase therefore destroying the elastic fibers surrounding alveolar walls.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Bronchia asthma is also an obstructive airway disease but the narrowing of the airspaces are reversible with bronchodilators unlike in chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Significant lung volume results in spirometry is evident in patients with bronchial asthma after treatment with bronchodilating agents.

Symptoms of chronic bronchitis and emphysema most often overlap among COPD patients. By and large, most patients with chronic bronchitis complain of persistent and severe cough with large amount of purulent mucus secretion while patients with emphysema initially complains of dyspnea or difficulty of breathing. Emphyema patients are usually asthenic while patients with chronic bronchitis often have barrel-chested with bulky physical appearance. Nevertheless, both types of COPD eventually develop progressive shortness of breath and labored breathing characterized by tachypnea or increase respiratory rate and use of the accessory muscle of respiration (e.g. sternocleidomastoid, scalenes, internal intercostals, rectus abdominis, others) that can lead to poor oxygen perfusion to the tissues. COPD patients also frequently have exacerbations with concomitant respiratory infections, typically after smoking more than a pack a day for several years (more than 20 years). In severe cases of decreased oxygenation of the tissues, cyanosis of the nail beds and lips with digital clubbing can be observed. Other accompanying symptoms include: morning headaches, weight loss probably due to poor food intake compounded with labored breathing, sleeplessness and irritability.

The diagnosis of COPD is mainly based on the medical history focusing on the presenting clinical symptoms of COPD and physical examination findings. Diagnostic laboratory tests requested by pulmonologists to aid in COPD diagnosis include: chest x-ray (CXR), computerized tomography (CT scan or CAT scan) of the chest, pulmonary function tests or PFTs like spirometry (to assess lung volumes) and arterial blood gases (ABG), which determines the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood.

Some chest x-ray findings are hyperinflation, bullae changes, small heart, and increased lucency of the chest cavity. There is also increased total lung capacity with decreased vital capacity on pulmonary function testing. Treatment available for COPD patients may help but still there is no cure for COPD. Hence, long term complications include increasing susceptibility to respiratory infections such as pneumonia or pneumonitis, right ventricular failure leading to cor pulmonale with pulmonary edema and eventually gradual progression to respiratory failure.

The plan of treatment for COPD patients include: smoking cessation to prevent further deterioration in lung function; symptomatic control by using inhalational agents to partially dilate airways and steroids to reduce airway inflammation and improving performance of activities of daily living; vaccination against influenza and pneumonia ; regular oxygen supplementation and pulmonary rehabilitation. Most patients with COPD have some variable degree of reversibility in terms of airway obstruction. Therefore, initial treatment will lead to some improvement but as COPD progresses almost all signs and symptoms gradually worsens in approximately over a period of 4 to 5 years. Some patient will eventually need home oxygen supplemental therapy to help alleviate COPD symptoms.

1 - 6 of 6 <<previous | next>>      

Combivent

Combivent

Combivent, a combination of Ipratropium and Albuterol is a bronchodilator (medicine that opens up narrowed breathing passages). It is taken by inhalation to help control the symptoms of lung diseases, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema by i more...

Proventil

Proventil

Proventil HFA is one of a group of medicines called Adrenergic Bronchodilators, and is breathed in through the mouth to open up the air passages of the lungs. Proventil HFA is used to treat the symptoms of asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other more...

Albuterol

Albuterol

Albuterol is one of a group of medicines called Adrenergic Bronchodilators, and is breathed in through the mouth to open up the air passages of the lungs. Albuterol is used to treat the symptoms of asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung dis more...

Ipratropium inhalation

Ipratropium inhalation

Ipratropium inhalation is used to prevent bronchospasm, or narrowing airways in the lungs, in people with bronchitis, emphysema, or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). This medication will not treat bronchospasm while it is happening but more of more...

Formoterol

Formoterol

Formoterol is a long-acting bronchodilator that works by relaxing muscles in the airways to improve breathing. Formoterol inhalation is used for the maintenance treatment of bronchial asthma. It is also used to prevent asthma attacks that are brought on more...

Foradil

Foradil

Foradil, known also as Formoterol, belongs to the family of medicines known as [beta ]2 -agonists. It is used to help prevent the symptoms of asthma. When used regularly Foradil decreases the number and severity of asthma attacks, but it will not relieve more...


1 - 6 of 6 <<previous | next>>       


© 2006-2012 pharmacy-and-drugs.com. All rights reserved.