COPD Symptoms and Treatments
Are you or a loved one suffering from COPD? Treatment can improve your overall well-being, dramatically reducing symptoms for a number of patients. Also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD occurs when the lungs become inflamed, obstructing airflow into the lungs. As a result, this condition can cause a wide variety of symptoms commonly associated with diseases like bronchitis and emphysema. The most common cause of COPD is smoking which damages the lung tissues. Over time, COPD will only get worse and nothing can reverse the damage done to the lungs, but that doesn't mean treatment can't help to prevent further damage and improve symptoms. With that said, read on to learn more about COPD symptoms and treatment options that may be able to help you.
The first step in treating COPD is being able to identify the problem. As mentioned earlier, smokers who have developed COPD usually experience the usual symptoms associated with both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD can cause a long-lasting cough that does not seem to go away on its own in most cases. Often cough spells may produce mucus that comes up that can be extremely unpleasant. If ignored, coughing may become worse and can make life exceedingly difficult. Shortness of breath is another common symptom that can prevent you from engaging in a wide variety of activities. Taking a walk, exercising, cleaning, and playing a game with your grandchild can be near impossible for someone with COPD. Even simple tasks like eating can be difficult because of breathing difficulties. Luckily, with treatment, you can improve your COPD symptoms, allowing you to do a whole lot more than you could otherwise.
New treatments for COPD are working wonders for COPD patients across the globe. The newly approved fluticasone furoate/umeclidinium/vilanterol triple-therapy inhaler uses a combination of an inhaled corticosteroid, a long-acting muscarinic antagonist, and a long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist, all in one inhaler that only needs to be taken once a day. For many patients, this is a more effective and convenient solution. It6 is the first of its kind. New drugs currently under development are also showing plenty of promise for COPD patients. New classes of drugs called p38 MAP kinase inhibitors and CXCR2 antagonists work to block proteins that trigger inflammation in the lungs, thereby eliminating the cause of COPD symptoms.
Many COPD patients will respond well to the most commonly prescribed treatments that have already worked so well for others. Albuterol, for instance, is a short-acting bronchodilator that is meant to relieve symptoms like shortness of breath and wheezing almost immediately. It works by relaxing the muscles and opening the airways. A long-acting bronchodilator called formoterol can provide relief of COPD symptoms throughout the day. Roflumilast is a phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor that is taken daily and is meant to prevent exacerbations. Many of these medications have helped COPD patients return to the activities they love the most, and they can help you too. If you have COPD or are concerned about COPD, talk to your doctor about any of treatments mentioned above.