Ignorance of general disease COPD: First symptoms are often not taken seriously
Especially now in the cold period, long cough is often not taken seriously enough or attributed to current or cold cold. But these diseases can also be caused by an incredible common illness: COPD.
The third leading cause of death worldwide
If there is a long cough in the autumn and winter, this is often explained by the fact that the defenses during the cold period are not strong enough and so you have had a flu or flu infection . But the symptoms may also identify chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Although this disease is the most frequent cause of death worldwide after a heart attack and a stroke, according to experts, the information about it is still too low.
Unacceptable illness leads to painful death if not treated
Although more and more people are suffering from chronic obstructive lung disease, also known as a smoker's cough or smokers lungs, information about this disease in the population is still too low, alerting Austrian lung specialists.
As clear symptoms are often overlooked and a doctor is often consulted very late, valuable time is lost, because the disease is the sooner treated, the more the opportunities today are to "stop "COPD.
This is centrally important because the disease can not be improved and, if it is left untreated, it causes a painful death through harassment.
Already notes are already serious
General Secretary of the Pulmonology Association of Australia, ÖGP, Prim. Priv.-Doz. Dr. Bernd Lamprecht, on the occasion of World Cup COPD on November 21th, emphasizes the importance of taking the first signs of COPD as a long-term cough seriously and seeing the doctor.
However, as stated in company communication, the existence of a number of different risk factors also makes it necessary to explain whether COPD is present.
Until a few years ago, therapeutic possibilities were still very limited. In recent years, new therapeutic approaches have been reported or even hoping for a new development in COPD treatment again.
However, it is always vital that the disease is diagnosed and treated earlier, better predicted and the quality of life of those affected.
AHA symptoms can be the first signs
Expectation, cough, lack of breath – the symptoms of AHA called the first signs of COPD.
But these initial symptoms are often entertained or attributed to "circumstances" or other illnesses. So breathing is limited at the beginning, but respiratory distress occurs when there is only physical stress.
Symbolism that is being deleted with sentences such as "You do not have a good condition right now". Even the key symptom will "cough" according to Dr. Med. Unfortunately Lamprecht often disappears.
"COPD is so crazy, among other things, because the patient's first symptoms are not often detected, appropriately recognized and so are not communicated to the doctor," said the doctor .
Especially in the cold period, long cough in many cases is taken seriously enough to attribute it to infection and COPD is not recognized in time. Therefore, patients should always notify their doctor about persistent coughing.
Especially when the cough lasts over eight weeks, the alarm should ring.
It can slow down or stop history
A simple pulmonary function test, called spirometry, can provide valuable initial information about the potential presence of COPD.
It is important to diagnose and treat the condition as soon as the symptoms are not clinically significant. In other words, if the patient is already ill, but it can continue to hide & # 39; the symptoms through bypass strategies – including yourself.
After all, the earlier and most individual COPD is recognized, the most favorable course. Although COPD can not be improved, the course can be slowed down or stopped.
Main smoking risk factor
Although some non-smokers are also affected, "smoking is the most remote risk factor for COPD development. Most COPD patients are active smokers or ex-smokers," said Lamprecht's lung specialist .
"Tobacco smoke contains many substances that cause inflammatory reactions that hurt the tissue and the lungs," says the doctor.
"On the one hand, this increases the production of bronchial mucus and, on the other hand, affects self-cleaning and respiratory tract mechanism. Foreign substances can not be eliminated now adequate and lung tissue is damaged, "said the expert.
"But: active smoking but also passive smoking can not only lead to COPD!"
People from risk groups should become a 50 year-old lung specialist
Other risk factors include: growing respiratory disease in childhood, particulate matter pollution, for example, traffic and industry and other pollutants of air and environmental pollution.
Or also stress in the workplace (for example, chemicals in the plastic industry or in car painting shops, dust on construction sites, in cattle sheds, excavation and welding and fire fighting, etc.).
People with severe, rare, rare, ether-1-antitrypsin deficiency, also known as high risk of COPD.
"Anyone that belongs to a risk group, even if it does not suffer from chronic cough, if most of the age of 50, check with the pulmonary expert to determine and is COPD present. "
COPD affects the whole body
"COPD can also be associated with other lung diseases, for example, in COPD patients, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, lung hypertension and respiratory disorders occur more often during sleep than in peers healthy, "explained Lamprecht.
Subsequently, the disease affects the whole body: there are cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, but also anemia, muscle loss and weight loss among COPD results.
"Mental illness, especially anxiety and depression, which increases with the severity of the disease, is a frequent COPD companion and also disrupts the quality of life as well as difficult," said Lamprecht.
Especially at the advanced stage of the disease, where patients have to deal with severe respiratory distress and constantly get oxygen through "nasal cannulae".
Although modern mobile oxygen devices are dominant in the past, patients suffer from a restriction of their range of movement and operation. This often leads them to be just socially.
"Nasal canoe and oxygen therapy immediately show that it is a seriously ill person, and that alone affects many people affected as a big strain and stigma," said Lamprecht.
Greater quality of patient life
However, Austrian lung specialists also have good news: thanks to better information about the different types of COPD, new insights and a deeper understanding of the complex relationships of this disease, modern diagnostic and new drug options and combined therapies, COPD patients can do a lot better and with much less Side effects are treated as earlier.
"People with COPD have the same symptoms but have different manifestations of the disease," explained Lamprecht.
"That's exactly what it's up to now recognize. You must use the correct & correct therapy in the correct form & # 39; And we're getting better and better today. "
The different therapeutic options, such as respiratory drugs, oxygen therapy, inert respiratory support, valves to reduce chronicmon hyperinflation, etc. can now be used increasingly when they bring the most success.
This saves valuable time, avoids side effects and saves costs. And very important: the quality of life of patients is increasing. (Ad)