What is COPD and what does it stand for? COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. This disease affects the way your lungs are supposed to work.
Smoking is the major cause of this disease. In the United States alone around twelve million people have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Currently it is the fourth leading cause of death and this may go up as the generation baby boomer gets older since a number of this generation was or were at one point smokers.
COPD is a progressive disease which in essence means that as time grows on the disease becomes worse. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is considered a chronic illness which means the disease becomes worse over time. In this case there can be acute attacks such as an attack of Acute Bronchitis from COPD.
How to understand COPD
As we breathe our lungs inflate and then deflate as the air goes out of them. This is like the branches on a tree and at the end of the branch there are small air sacks. These air sacks (their medical name is alveoli). In a normal person they expand when we inhale and when we exhale they go back to their normal size. In someone with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease this does not happen. Less air comes in and out. There is also a lot more mucus is being produced which causes the airways to become blocked.
The air we breathe is made up of twenty-one percent oxygen, seventy-eight percent carbon dioxide and around a one percent mixture of other gases. When you have COPD there is not enough oxygen in your system.
Oxygen therapy helps with people who have been diagnosed with COPD but please consult a doctor before trying any therapy on your own.