Visakhapatnam

COPD, if left untreated, can affect other organs: expert

Doctors examining at lung radiograph X-ray film of a patient in operation room.   | Photo Credit: utah778

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that blocks up the lungs, leading to shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. COPD gets worse over time, if untreated, and causes tremendous impact on the lives of patients and their families.

The symptoms include shortness of breath and wheezing (whistling sounds during breathing), chronic or smoker’s cough and chronic phlegm production. The World COPD Day is observed on November 20 to raise awareness among healthcare professionals and general public for prevention of chronic lung diseases. The theme for this year is: “All together to end COPD.”

“COPD is a disease of the small airways, which can take years for the symptoms to appear. The severity increases gradually and causes chronic obstruction. Unlike asthma, which is caused by allergens or hereditary factors, COPD is caused by smoking or other external factors like pollution,” Dr. Madhusudhan Patrudu, Associate Professor, Government Hospital for Chest Diseases (GHCD), said.

“Smokers should remember that apart from COPD, smoking can affect other organs like the heart and related disorders. COPD seems to be on the decline among both men and women. This is because smoking is on the decline and ‘chulhas’ (biomass fuel) by women, especially in rural areas, seems to be no longer in existence,” he said.

“The increased use of inhalers as a replacement for tablets, which was the only remedy in the past, is showing better results in the treatment of COPD. The drug reaches the lungs directly with getting deposited in other organs. Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) are being done at GHCD for detection of COPD,” Dr. Patrudu said.

The GHCD will run a PFT OP in connection with the World COPD Day on Wednesday. A patient awareness programme would also be organised at the hospital on the occasion.

“Early stages of disease can be diagnosed by Spirometry, a non-invasive test. When COPD advances, it affects other organs like heart and nervous system. This underlines the importance of early detection and prevention of COPD,” Dr. K.S. Phaneendra Kumar, consultant pulmonologist, KIMS ICON Hospital, said.


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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 8:41:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/copd-if-left-untreated-can-affect-other-organs-expert/article30021009.ece

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