Last updated:03-03-2009
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Definition and causes

COPD is one of the most common lung diseases in Denmark, and up to 200,000 people living with the disease. Moreover those who have the disease, but it has not yet been diagnosed. Around 3000 people die each year due to COPD in Denmark. COPD rarely seen before 60 years of age and is seen almost exclusively in smokers. Pollution or many years of working in dust-filled environments may also cause COPD. The disease is much more common
COPD means that you have achronic obstruction of the airways,due to chronic bronchitis and / or lungeemfysem. Chronic bronchitis leads to scarring and narrowing of the bronchi and lungeemfysem leads to destruction of lung elastic tissue. Both leads ultimately obstruction of the airways with reduced air exchange. In COPD seen mostly elements from both diseases, and since both diseases mainly caused by smoking, COPD is called forsmokers' lungs.
Before we talk about COPD, the speed with which you breathe air out, be significantly reduced (this is measured by a lung function study). If this criterion is not met, it was at. definition, not COPD. This means that it is possible to have chronic bronchitis or lungeemfysem without having COPD.
Some people suffering from COPD has also simultaneously asthma. This is an obstructive pulmonary disease, but it is not chronic.

Symptoms of COPD

The most common symptoms are:
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnoea) and pibende breathing.
  • Cough.
  • Opspyt of mucus.
  • Blåfarvning (cyanosis) of skin and lips. This is a consequence of oxygen deficiency and is seen only late stage as a sign of advanced disease.

Precautions and diagnosis

Since COPD most often caused by smoking, is the most important thing you can do to prevent COPD to stop smoking. It is common for smokers experiencing morning cough / cough tobacco, but if it worsens, or breathing difficulty to encounter, you must take it seriously and contact their doctor. Moreover, avoid passive smoking, and very polluted and dust-filled environments.
The diagnosis made at first by determining the lung function, and for that you have COPD, this study show decreased udåndingshastighed. In addition, an X-ray of the lungs, primarily to exclude other disorders of the lung as pneumonia or lung cancer. Often it may be difficult to distinguish between COPD and asthma (also because you may have asthma while COPD). But when asthma is lungeobstruktionen

Treatment of COPD and the course and complications

COPD leads to progressive destruction of lung tissue. There is no curative treatment, and the loss of lung function can not be restored. The review of COPD apply it to halt disease progress and prevent further loss of lung function. This can only be done by stop smoking, so stopping smoking is the main treatment of COPD.
Many with COPD experiencing several times a year an acute exacerbation of the disease, calledexacerbation. Hovedsymptomet at such exacerbation is severe shortness of breath, so hospitalization is often necessary. In addition can also be seen coughing, large quantities opspyt and fever. Such deterioration is often caused by viral or bacterial infections of the upper or lower airways. They may also be triggered by other illnesses that affect breathing, changes in climate or heavy air pollution.
Besides smoking cessation, it is possible to treat the symptoms. Treatment depends on whether the disease was stable or acute worsening. As long as the disease is not acute aggravated recalls reading a lot about the treatment provided by chronic bronchitis with inhalation of medication, which extends the bronchi (relaxed muscles in the bronchi), thereby allowing more air to reach the lungs.
It is controversial whether steroids have any effect in COPD, as long as the disease is not acute worsened. Steroids dampen inflammation, which is an irritation condition with simultaneous swelling. This will minimize any. swelling of mucous membranes in the airways. This allows more air to get out of the bottom, thinnest airways, where the exchange between carbon dioxide and oxygen to the blood occurs. So there must be a swelling of the mucosa in the efficacy of
At exacerbation provide oxygen, medicine extending bronchi and steroidbehandling. The latter can also be given by inhalation. Moreover, antibiotic treatment, the deterioration caused by infection with bacteria. Sometimes also given antibiotic treatment in cases of viral infections, although not directly help. This is consistent with that during a viral infection is the immune system weakened and the risk of developing infectious
Furthermore, it is important to try to maintain a good respiratory function. This can be done partly by doing various breathing exercises (lung physiotherapy) And may exercise, to the extent possible, help.
When offered a permanent oxygen deficiency oxygen therapy at home. This is the only treatment that has shown to prolong survival in COPD patients with a permanent lack of oxygen. Oxygen therapy at home is offered only to people who have stopped smoking because it may be dangerous to smoke near an oxygen container.
Since COPD is due to chronic bronchitis and / or lungeemfysem, COPD is also associated with similar complications as seen in these diseases (see chronic bronchitis and ungeemfysem l).


As mentioned COPD leads to a gradual and irreversible loss of lung tissue and therefore lung function. There is an increased mortality among people with COPD. This is partly due to the increased tendency for lung infections and to the loss of lung tissue means that you have reduced ability to ilte blood. The loss of lung tissue, however, slowed down significantly if you quit smoking. So if the disease is not too advanced, it can live many & ar

Related articles:

Acute Bronchitis
Allergic alveolitis
ARDS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome)
Bronkiektasi (Bronkieudvidelse)
Chronic Bronchitis
COPD (Chronic Obstruktiv Lungesygdom, Rygerlunger)
Empyem in lungehulen (Lungehulebetændelse)
Interstitielle lung diseases
Lung absces
Lung cancer
Lungs and respiratory passages
Pneumoconioses, Asbestosis
Pneumonia (Pneumonia)
Pneumothorax (Lungecollapse, Ruptured lung)
Sarcoidosis (Morbus Boeck)
Water in the lungs (Pulmonary oedema)



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