Ignorance of widespread disease COPD: The first symptoms are usually not taken seriously.
Especially now in the cold period prolonged cough is often not taken seriously enough or attributed to an existing influenza or simple cold. However, complaints may also be caused by a common disease that could not be treated before: COPD.
The third leading cause of death worldwide
If there is a long lasting cough in the autumn and winter, this is often explained by the fact that the defenses in the cold period are not strong enough and therefore catch the flu or influenza. However, the symptoms may also indicate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although this disease is the most common cause of death in the world after heart attack and stroke, according to experts, the information on this subject is still alarmingly low.
Untreated disease can lead to painful death.
Although the pulmonary specialists of Austria are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more and more people are known as smokers or coughs of smokers, the level of knowledge of this disease in the population is still alarmingly low.
Because open symptoms are often ignored and often a doctor is consulted, valuable time is lost, because the earlier the disease is treated, the more likely it is to stop COPD today.
This is of central importance because the disease cannot be cured and if left untreated, it causes painful death by suffocation.
Already the first serious notes
General Secretary of the Austrian Pulmonology Association ÖGP, Prim Priv. Dose. Dr. On the occasion of the 21st of November World COPD Day, Bernd Lamprecht underlines the importance of taking the first indications of CDB as a long-term cough and taking a doctorate.
However, as noted in a company communication, the existence of a number of different risk factors also necessitates clarifying whether COPD is present or not.
Until a few years ago, therapeutic possibilities were still very limited, and in recent years, new groundbreaking prospects and even new groundbreaking prospects for COPD have been repeatedly reported.
However, the early detection and treatment of the disease is always vital, the prognosis and quality of life of the affected are so good.
AHA symptoms may be the first symptoms
Expression, cough, shortness of breath – so-called AHA symptoms may be the first symptoms of COPD.
However, these initial symptoms are often trivialed or attributed to other "conditions" or diseases. Therefore, only mildly limited at the onset of respiration occurs only when there is physical stress of respiratory distress.
It is a symptom that is dismissed from sentences like "you don't have a good condition right now". Dr. med. Unfortunately, Lamprecht often became insignificant.
"COPD is, among other things, very insidious, because patients' initial symptoms are generally not properly recognized, recognized and therefore not transmitted to the doctor."
Especially in the cold period, prolonged cough in many cases is not taken seriously or attributed to an infection, and COPD is not recognized over time. Therefore, patients should report to their physicians about a continuous cough.
When the cough continues for eight weeks, the alarm should sound.
Date can be slowed or stopped
A simple pulmonary function test, called spirometry, can provide valuable initial information about the possible presence of COPD.
If the symptoms are not clinically significant, it is important to diagnose and treat the condition. In other words, if the patient is already ill, but still can avoid symptoms, including avoidance strategies.
After all, the earlier COPD is recognized and the more individual, the more appropriate. Although COPD cannot be treated, the course may slow down or stop.
Main risk factor smoking
Although some non-smokers are also affected, KO smoking is the biggest risk factor for the development of COPD. Lung specialist Lamprecht explained that the majority of all COPD patients are active or old smokers.
”Tobacco smoke contains many substances that cause inflammatory reactions that damage lung tissue, Doktor the doctor said.
"On the one hand, this increases the production of bronchial mucus and, on the other hand, affects the self-cleaning mechanism of the airways. The impurities are no longer sufficiently removed and the lung tissue is damaged," says the expert.
"But: not only active, but also passive smoking can lead to COPD!"
Persons in risk groups should be a lung specialist after 50 years of age.
Other risk factors include: increased airway disease in childhood, eg air pollution from traffic and industry, and other pollutants from air and environmental pollution.
Or in the workplace (for example, chemicals in the plastics industry or in car paint shops, dust in construction sites, cattle shelters, mining and welding and fire fighting, etc.).
People suffering from a severe and rare hereditary disease, the so-called alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, are also at high risk of COPD.
"Even if you are not exposed to chronic cough, everyone in a risk group should consult with the pulmonary specialist to determine if they have COPD at the age of 50 years."
COPD affects the entire body
"COPD may also be associated with other lung diseases". For example, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, and respiratory disorders are more common in sleep patients than healthy peers in COPD patients, AH explains Lamprecht.
Then the disease affects the whole body: cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, but also anemia, muscle loss and weight loss are also among the results of COPD.
"Mental illness is a common companion of COPD, especially anxiety and depression, which is associated with the severity of the disease, and deteriorates the quality of life." Said.
Particularly in the advanced stages of the disease, patients are required to deal with severe respiratory distress and to receive oxygen provided by the "nasal cannula".
Although modern mobile oxygen devices are a tremendous improvement over the past, patients suffer from limitation of movement and range of motion. This usually makes them social isolation.
. Nasal cannula and oxygen therapy immediately shows that he is a serious patient.
Increased quality of life of patients
However, Austria's lung specialists also have good news: COPD patients today have a much better and lesser degree of COPD, thanks to different forms of COPD, new insights and a better understanding of the complex relationships of this disease, modern diagnostic options and new medications and concurrent therapies. The effects are treated as before.
"People with COPD have the same symptoms but have different symptoms of the disease," said Lamprecht.
"And that's exactly what it is now to recognize. The correct treatment should be used in the correct form. And we're getting better today."
Inhaled drugs, oxygen therapy, noninvasive respiratory support, caps that reduce pulmonary hyperinflation, etc. Various treatment options are now increasingly used in places where they provide the most success.
This saves valuable time, prevents side effects and reduces costs. And very important: the quality of life of patients has increased significantly. (Name)