PULMONARY DISEASE BETTER
KNOWN AS COPD IS A CHRONIC
OBSTRUCTIVE DISEASE OF THE
LUNGS DUE TO WHICH THE
VICTIMS COMPLAIN OF
CHRONICALLY POOR AIRFLOW.
MOST OF THE SMOKERS SUFFER
FROM THIS DISEASE.
IN AUSTRALIA, IT IS ESTIMATED THAT LUNG
DISEASES ACCOUNT FOR AT LEAST 10
PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF
DISEASES AND LUNG CANCER
REPRESENTS 40 PERCENT OF THE DEATHS
ANNUALLY. LUNG CANCER AND COPD ARE
POPULAR AMONG OLDER AUSTRALIANS.
LUNG DISEASES AND RESPIRATORY
PROBLEMS CONSTITUTED 1.26 PERCENT
OF THE TOTAL POPULATION IN 2011-12.
The COPD Awareness Day on
November 19 attempts to raise
awareness regarding COPD and what
can be done in order to prevent it. The
theme for 2014 is early detection and
prevention of COPD. In this article, we
take a close look at the disease, its
symptoms and its treatment.
What is COPD?
As the name suggests, it is a chronic disease
(i.e. a disease that is persistent over a longer
period of time) of the lungs which is
characterized by obstructive airflow. It is
sometimes known as chronic obstructive lung
disease or chronic obstructive airway disease.
To explain COPD, we must first understand how our
lungs function. The air that we breathe in passes
through our windpipes called bronchial tubes or
airways. They, then branch out into smaller and
thinner tubes called bronchioles. These tubes are
attached to small air sacs called alveoli. Oxygen
passes through the walls of the air sacs into the
blood while carbon dioxide moves from the blood to
the air sacs. This is called gas exchange.