Tuesday, 8 May 2012

COPD. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

A disorder that results in chronic blockage of the airways that supply the lungs. The two types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The primary cause is smoking although not all patients who smoke get COPD. The extent of disease and symptoms experienced can vary widely.

Symptoms:
Shortness of breath, cough, cough with colored sputum, chest pain, wheezing, fatigue, bluish discoloration of skin.

Treatment:
Treatment depends of the severity of symptoms but may include: bronchodilators (albuterol, atrovent), steroids, and or antibiotics. Surgery to remove portions of severely affected lung and or a lung transplant may be necessary for severe involvement.
X-rays and pulmonary function tests will be done to determine the extent of disease. Occasional a CT scan is performed as well.

Other Specific Tests:
Pulmonary function tests