Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name given to chronic bronchitis and emphysema, two conditions which often exist together and cause the narrowing of the airways. This causes a limitation on the amount of air that is circulated through the lungs and results in shortness of breath. This paper will further examine the condition of COPD. (NHLBI, 2009).
There are causes and risk factors that typically lead to COPD, and it occurs when people are exposed to noxious particles or gases, often from smoking. The disease can also be caused by other pollutants in the air that people are exposed to on a regular basis. Occupational exposures are also a cause and risk factor. For example, those who work in mines are often exposed to high levels of dust, and those who work in textiles are exposed to chemicals like cadmium. Even fumes from welding are known to be a risk factor in the development of COPD. Air pollution is a cause of COPD that cannot be escaped. Some people get the disease as a result of genetics, especially those who have relatives with the disease but also engage in risky behavior like smoking. (NHLBI, 2009).
[...] If it has then the nurse must do on- going respiratory assessment, and this can allow the nurse to know if the disease is getting worse or if it is remaining the same. If it has not yet been diagnosed, the nurse can refer people to such things as smoking cessation programs to try and get the patient to experience relief. This will determine the appropriate nursing intervention that must be undertaken. (RNAO, 2009). A recent article in the International Journal of Clinical Practice observed that the severity of the disease has a lot to do with the patients health- related quality of life. [...]
[...] As the stages of chronic bronchitis get worse there develops an abnormal change in the tissue that lines the inside part of the airway. Fibrosis also occurs which creates more scarring and thickening of the wall of the airway. This is what results from less airflow throughout the lungs. Patients that are experiencing a developed stage of this disease often experience the bluing of their skin and lips which is a consequence of hypoxia and fluid retention. (NHLBI, 2009). When the airways become narrowed, this lowers the rate that air can flow between the air sacs and this serves to make the lungs less effective. [...]
[...] Anybody who is experiencing chronic shortness of breath should consider being tested for COPD as there is a good chance they may be afflicted by it. Other signs of people who should look into being diagnosed are chronic cough and high levels of sputum production. As well, anybody that knows they are at a high risk of the disease because of risky behavior like smoking should consider being tested for the disease. There are no unitary symptoms that can be a sure thing for the diagnosis of the disease, but those who experience the symptoms listed might suffer from the disease. [...]
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