How Do You Get COPD … and Can You Stop It?

Just how do you get COPD?  Do you really know?Look the cold hard facts in the face and it’s not pretty.  We in Pennsylvania have the 6th-highest COPD death rate in the entire country.  That doesn’t exactly make us want to pat ourselves on the back.

Chances are high that you know someone who has COPD.  You know how they suffer, and how the quality of their life is affected.

Like many things, knowledge about COPD gives a person power to conquer it.  Do you know how a person gets COPD? Keep reading and find out.

How do you get COPD?

  • It’s not hard to guess:  the greatest factor in developing COPD is smoking.  Whether a person smokes a pipe, a cigar, cigarettes, or other tobacco, about 90% of current or former smokers have COPD.  Even secondhand smoke can contribute to COPD.
  • Another factor in developing COPD is long-term exposure to other lung irritants.  Examples are extreme air pollution, as well as chemical gases and/or dust from hazardous workplaces.
  • In rare instances, a genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency can contribute.  Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) is a protein made in the liver.  Without this protein, the patient is very vulnerable to lung irritants.
  • Asthma can also be a factor in developing COPD, although this is quite rare.  If treatment for asthma is not effective in reversing the inflammation and narrowing of airways, COPD can develop.

If I Smoke, Will Quitting Really Help my COPD?

Absolutely, undeniably YES.  Quitting smoking is the number one thing you can do to improve your overall health and slow the damage of COPD.

I’ve Had a Cough for Months.  Could it Be COPD?

It is possible.  If you have any symptoms of COPD, see your physician; especially if you are over 40 years of age or have ever smoked.  If any other person in your family has this disease, be sure to mention it to your health care provider.  Remember, COPD can be treated and controlled, but it’s important to act quickly.  Early detection is key to successful treatment.

If you need to quit smoking (and if you smoke, you do need to quit), we’re here to help.  At Brian’s Pharmacies, we’re invested in the lives and health of our neighbors.  We want you to succeed at this challenge.  You’ll find the following links helpful.

 

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