Recognize Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Recognize Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Just heard of the term COPD? Let’s learn, identify the symptoms and avoid the risk factors, through the following questions and answers:

Question (Q): What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

Answer (J): Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease was previously known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. This disease is characterized by a slowdown in airflow that is not completely reversible. Airflow retarding is generally progressive and is associated with an abnormal inflammatory response to irritant particles or gases.


Q: What are the symptoms of COPD?

A: A person with mild COPD can have no complaints or symptoms. This is dangerous because if the risk factors are not avoided, the disease will be progressive. COPD can cause the following symptoms:

• Hard to breathe

Chronic cough (cough for 2 weeks)

• Productive sputum (cough with phlegm) In acute exacerbation of COPD there are symptoms that get worse, such as:

• Increased shortness of breath

• Sometimes accompanied by wheezing

Increased cough with increased sputum (sputum)

• The sputum becomes more purulent and changes color

• Non-specific symptoms: lethargy, weakness, insomnia, fatigue, depression


Q: What are the risk factors for COPD?

A: 1. Smoking is the single most important causal cause, it is much more important than any other causal factor. In recording smoking history, it is necessary to pay attention to smoking history, active smokers, passive smokers, former smokers. If a former smoker must assess the severity of smoking using the Brinkman Index (IB), which is the multiplication of the average number of cigarettes smoked per day times the length of smoking in years: • Mild: 0-200 • Moderate: 200-600 • Weight:> 600

2. A history of exposure to air pollution in the environment and workplaces

3. Bronchial hypereactivity

4. History of recurrent lower respiratory tract infections

5. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, generally rare in Indonesia


Q: What are the bad effects of cigarette smoke? A: In a cigarette contains 4,000 types of toxic chemical compounds that are harmful to the body, 43 of which are carcinogenic. With the main components:

• Nicotine, a dangerous addictive substance

• Tar, is carcinogenic

• CO, reduces oxygen content in the blood Smoking can cause various diseases, especially lung cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease, and blood vessel disorders, in addition to causing decreased fertility, pregnancy problems, fetal growth disorders (physical and IQ). , impaired infant immunity and increased perinatal mortality. Besides having a bad impact on the health of smokers themselves, secondhand smoke (AROL) is also harmful to the health of those around them, which in this case becomes passive smoking. AROL is a combination of smoke released by the burning tip of a cigarette and other tobacco products and the smoke exhaled by smokers. There is no safe limit for AROL. The survey results show that the number of female passive smokers in Indonesia is 62 million and men 30 million, and the saddest thing is the number of children aged 0-4 years exposed to AROL of 11.4 million children. Secondhand smoke has a 30% greater risk of developing cancer than those who are not exposed to secondhand smoke, as well as ischemic heart disease caused by cigarette smoke.


Q: What tests should be done to support a diagnosis of COPD?

A: • Spirometry is a test performed to objectively measure lung capacity / function (ventilation) in patients with medical indications. The tool used is called a spirometer

Radiology (Thoracic X-ray)

• If exacerbation is acute: blood gas analysis, DPL, Sputum gram, MOR culture


Q: What are the principles of COPD therapy?

A: • Education and motivation to quit smoking

• Pharmacotherapy: bronchodilators, steroids, mucolytics, antioxidants

• Non-pharmacological therapy

• Rehabilitation: physical exercise, breathing exercises

• Long-term oxygen therapy (15 hours daily) in Stage III COPD

• Nutrition • Surgery in severe COPD 


Do you know? Research has found that a deficiency in the Antitrypsin protein (a condition called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, AATD) increases a person’s chances of developing COPD. Without this protein, the body’s natural immune system will fight lung cells and lead to deterioration of lung function. Recent studies have established other hereditary factors and trends associated with COPD.

When to see a doctor? If you experience shortness of breath and cough with phlegm that gets worse or lasts for a long time, then you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Although these symptoms do not always point to COPD, a doctor’s consultation is needed to rule out other possibilities. In a meeting with your doctor, you will be asked about your medical history including a history of smoking, asthma or exposure to pollutants. If you suspect you have COPD, your doctor will refer you to a pulmonologist for treatment.  

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