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Health Journey Support | Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), caused by chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a condition that limits the lungs' ability to function properly. This video outlines the differences between normal and damaged lung anatomy and discusses the causes, symptoms, and treatments for COPD.

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), caused by chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a condition that limits the lungs' ability to function properly. This video outlines the differences between normal and damaged lung anatomy and discusses the causes, symptoms, and treatments for COPD.

Transcript: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is the gradual loss of your ability to breathe effectively. Normally as you inhale, air moves freely through your trachea, or windpipe, then through large tubes called bronchi, smaller tubes called bronchioles, and finally into tiny sacs called alveoli. Small blood vessels, called capillaries surround your alveoli. Oxygen from the air you breathe passes into your capillaries. Then carbon dioxide from your body passes out of your capillaries into your alveoli so that your lungs can get rid of it when you exhale. Normally, your airways and alveoli are flexible and springy. When you inhale, each air sac inflates like a small balloon. And when you exhale the sacs deflates. Smoking is the leading cause of COPD. However, it may also be caused by long-term exposure to other lung irritants such as air pollution, chemical fumes, and dust. If you have COPD, you have the two main conditions that make up the disease, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In emphysema, your airways and air sacs lose their flexibility, making it harder for them to expand and contract. Emphysema destroy some of your air sac walls, leading to fewer, larger sacks that provide less area to absorb oxygen from the air you breathe. The symptoms of emphysema include wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in your chest. With chronic bronchitis, damage inside your airways causes the lining to swell, thicken, and make mucus. You develop a persistent cough as your body attempts to get rid of the extra mucus. The symptoms of chronic bronchitis include an ongoing cough that produces a lot of mucus, shortness of breath, and frequent respiratory infections. The damage done to your lungs by COPD cannot be reversed and there is no cure for the disease. However, treatment can slow the progress of your disease and help you feel better. The most common treatments are quitting smoking, use of inhaled medicines to open your airways and reduce swelling, antibiotics for bronchitis caused by bacterial infection, oxygen therapy for those with advanced COPD and severely low levels of oxygen in their blood, and surgery such as a bullectomy, or lung volume reduction surgery to remove non-functioning air sacs. The best way to prevent yourself from getting COPD is to never smoke. If you are a smoker, quitting smoking reduces the chance you'll develop COPD. You can also limit your exposure to chemicals, fumes, and dust that may cause COPD. more...

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Smoking and COPD

Smoking and COPD

Smoking causes damage to the airways of the lungs. This video provides an overview of how the lungs work and the effects smoking can have on their bronchioles and alveoli, leading over time to chronic bronchitis and emphysema, collectively known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).