Knowing COPD end stage signs and symptoms is a must if you or your family member have this disease. As the name suggests, the COPD is a chronic, non-curable disease. Progress can, however, be prevented or slowed down by early therapy and a change in the way of life, in particular by the abandonment of smoking. “Obstruction” means that there is a hindrance to the respiratory flow. This is the main problem for the patient because of the risk of dyspnea – especially in the case of physical stress.
The COPD usually develops very slowly over several decades. Cough, expectoration and dyspnea over several years represent the most important symptoms and should give occasion for a doctor’s visit. The earlier the COPD is diagnosed, the sooner the loss of the lung function can be successfully exerted.
The COPD can be divided into four stages according to the outcome of the lung function test, from stage I (easy) to stage IV (very difficult).
Frequency and emergence of COPD
The incidence of Stage II-IV COPD is estimated to be 11 percent in Austria, with only 6 percent being diagnosed. This is a major problem in the treatment of COPD, because an early diagnosis allows an effective therapeutic influence on the course of the disease already in the (often misleading) early stage of the disease. It is estimated that by 2020 the COPD will be the third most common cause of death worldwide.
Look Out Copd End Stage Signs And Symptoms Carefully
What are the symptoms of COPD?
The COPD affects both the bronchial branching system and the pulmonary tissue:
In the bronchial region one speaks of a chronic bronchitis.
Chronic bronchitis occurs when cough and sputum persist for more than three months for two consecutive years. This is often referred to as “smoking cough”. Especially morning cough is typical for the COPD. After years of coughing, bronchial tubes and lung tissue are finally damaged so far that breathing is made more difficult. Likewise, a feeling of tightness in the area of the thorax and whistling breathing can occur. Chronic bronchitis, however, does not necessarily have to go into a COPD.
In the region of the lung tissue, the disease affects the pulmonary vesicles (alveoli); one speaks of a pulmonary emphysema.
This is based on an overriding inflammatory reaction, which is caused by cigarette smoke or other pollutants. This should not be confused with the increased inflammability or hypersensitivity of the respiratory tract in asthma.
As a result of the inflammation, the pulmonary vesicles become larger, the pressure due to the increased air quantity increases, and an over-inflation occurs. As a result of the bloating, the elasticity of the lungs diminishes, the airways are permanently constricted, and ultimately the lung tissue is destroyed – the full picture of the emphysema of the lung.
In chronic COPD, chronic bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema are present to varying degrees. Both are, however, in common, that they lead to dyspnoea.
The dyspnea is initially only visible in cases of severe physical strain and is often falsely attributed to overweight or lack of training. It is only when the air is left with a moderate to moderate load that medical help is sought – usually too late to restore the performance of the breathing to its full extent.
In the late stage of the COPD, the internal organs are also impaired, in particular to a right of the heart due to the permanently more difficult breathing.
It is typical for COPD that the symptoms are continuously worsened if risk factors are not avoided and no therapy is initiated.
Emergency measures at COPD
A temporary worsening of the COPD – a so-called exacerbation – can occur again and again in the course of the disease. Depending on the degree of severity, to a more or less pronounced amplification of respiratory distress. There is the risk of an under supply with oxygen. Therefore, it is essential for COPD patients to know how to react in an emergency.
In the case of a COPD disease, the condition of the persons concerned can often deteriorate. An acute, persistent and worsening of the symptoms beyond the usual fluctuations of the day is called exacerbation.
Measures for acute deterioration
In the course of an exacerbation, the condition of the patient may deteriorate so rapidly and rapidly that breathing becomes extremely difficult and exhausts him very much. The body is insufficiently supplied with oxygen and carbon dioxide is not breathed out too little, which can manifest itself in drowsiness and confusion. Those affected can ultimately lose consciousness. Therefore, an emergency physician must be called immediately if these symptoms occur.
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