Doctor Reza - The Specialist in Treatment of COPD

What is COPD?

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It includes a number of common conditions, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and small airways disease, all of which make it harder for people to breathe. The word ‘chronic’ simply means the problem is long- term, and does not indicate the severity of the disease.

CAUSES OF COPD
  • The most common cause of COPD is Smoking. Ex-smokers are also at risk of developing COPD. Once you give up smoking, you gradually reduce 
the chances of getting
 COPD or slow its 
progression if you
 already have it
  • Occupation such as Mining
  • Inherited problems
  • Pollution.
SYMPTOMS OF COPD

Symptoms of COPD depends on how severe it is:

  • Chronic persistent cough
  • Coughing up lots of sputum is the main symptom
  • Shortness of breath might suggest COPD. In mild cases, the shortness of breath may be present only during winter months. In more severe cases, shortness of breath may occur every day
  • You may feel breathless during routine everyday exercise.
DIAGNOSIS OF COPD

The best way to confirm the diagnosis is through Spirometry - a breathing test done by your pulmonologist. This will indicate whether your airways have narrowed. If the COPD is severe, then, other more detailed tests, such as a CT scan or checks on levels of blood gas, and referral to hospital may be required.

TREATMENT

There is no cure for COPD but a lot can be done to relieve its symptoms.

  • Stopping smoking will help improve the cough and phlegm
  • Drugs can be given that make the airways wider. These bronchodilators are taken preferably as inhalers. If you get more breathless at some particular time of day, then you will benefit more from bronchodilators. In some cases, people may have to take bronchodilators regularly or in combination. Nebulisers can provide bigger doses
  • Steroids can also be prescribed for a few days if you are more short of breath. Later on, you may be given small, regular doses of inhaled steroids if you have severe COPD and your symptoms worsen (exacerbations)
  • Exacerbations are common in COPD. They may require treatment with antibiotics and a bigger dose of steroids. A flu vaccination every autumn is also worthwhile as flu can also cause exacerbations
  • Try to be as mobile as you can, look after your weight and eat a balanced diet.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES WITH COPD
  • People with COPD generally become anxious about becoming breathless when exercising, reducing activity and personal fitness and making their breathing problems worse
  • People with COPD must adapt their lifestyles to fit in with the condition and try to keep generally fit to avoid this vicious circle of disability
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation courses, designed specifically for people with COPD, involve exercise and education and have been shown to improve exercise performance, health status and quality of life of the patients
  • The care and support of family and friends can do a lot to relieve anxiety and depression.
PREVENTION

Once COPD starts, it will slowly get worse. Stopping smoking reduces the risk of developing COPD and slows down its progress.

Remember:
  • To get your Lung Function Test done by me, your COPD specialist in Kolkata, to confirm the diagnosis in the first instance
  • If you have severe COPD, get your Pulmonary Function Test done twice a year to see if your lungs are improving or not
  • Use your inhalers with the spacer exactly as I have shown it
  • Do not forget your Influenza and your Pneumonia vaccinations
  • Do not stop your inhalers without asking me
  • Above all - STOP SMOKING!
** This site is for patient information only **