Understanding COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a number of lung diseases which all block the airway and make breathing difficult. The term COPD covers chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other long-term diseases affecting the airway. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may also be known as chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD), chronic obstructive respiratory disease (CORD) and chronic airflow limitation (CAL).
What causes COPD?
Common symptoms are breathlessness when active (increasingly whilst doing even simple tasks), a persistent phlegmatic cough and regular chest infections.
COPD affects adults, mainly over the ages of 35 and more commonly diagnosed at 50+. It is most commonly caused by smoking, which irritates and inflames the lungs leading to scarring. Sometimes COPD is caused by dust, fumes, pollution or a genetic disorder but these are much less common. Unfortunately COPD damage to lungs cannot be reversed.
Data from the European Respiratory Society shows lung diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cause 1 in 10 deaths and are expected to rise over the next 20 years because of past smoking rates. If you are or were a smoker you should not ignore symptoms of breathless, chest infections and a smokers cough, as early treatment can slow the progression of COPD and help reduce it's impact on your life.
As mentioned above, damage cannot be reversed but the disease can be slowed. If you still smoke, it is of course important that you stop to prevent further lung damage.
The most common treatment for COPD is an inhaler. Bronchodilator inhalers work by delivering medicine to your lungs to relax the muscles and cause the airways to open. If these aren't working you may be prescribed a steroid inhaler, and this is common for most COPD sufferers.
Steroid inhalers, whilst being the recommended treatment for COPD can cause side effects when used long term, particularly at high doses, such as decreased bone thickness and eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma.
Tower Health's natural COPD solutions
Many sufferers choose to try out salt therapy as an alternative to steroid inhalers, or to reduce their frequency of use and dosage. Salt therapy is completely natural, drug free and proven safe. It involves using an inhaler or salt pipe to breathe in salt crystals for around 15 minutes a day.
Discover more about salt therapy with the Salitair medical device which is recommended by doctors and available from Tower Health.