Chronic Lung Disease

Lung cancer may come to mind when you think of chronic lung disease, but there are many other types.  Such lung conditions can impact your airways, lung tissues, or blood flow into and out of your lungs. Chronic lung disease is a condition that affects the respiratory system, lungs, and other organs. It often takes time to develop, and it could worsen. Smoking cigarettes or inhaling secondhand smoke, industrial fumes, dust, or air pollution can lead to chronic lung illness.  Tobacco smoke (through inhalation of one's smoke or that of others, as well as exposure to secondhand smoke) and indoor and outdoor air quality are the two main risk factors for chronic respiratory disorders. Smokers are more likely to get lung cancer, asthma, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

What are the common symptoms of COPD? 

Asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are the two most prevalent chronic respiratory illnesses. Both of these have an impact on the lungs' airways. As the airway narrows asthma is characterized by repeated symptoms of dyspnea. It may also cause wheezing that varies in intensity from person to person. Affected persons may experience their symptoms numerous times throughout the day or week; for some, they may get worse after physical activity or at night. The most prevalent chronic illness that is seen among children is asthma. With inhaled medications, airway obstruction in asthma can be reversed; but in COPD, the obstacle is mainly permanent.

Common COPD symptoms appear, including:

  • fatigue with a persistent cough 
  • difficulty breathing
  • cough with phlegm
  • wheezing
  • chest constriction
  • lacking in energy
  • unwanted loss of weight (in later stages)
  • ankle, foot, or leg swelling
  • respiratory infections 

What causes COPD?

COPD develops gradually over time and is frequently brought on by several risk factors, including:

  • The uses of biomass fuel (wood, animal dung, crop residue, or coal) for heating and cooking with high levels of smoke exposure
  • Early life events like poor fetal growth,
  • Prematurity
  • Frequent respiratory infections in childhood (it prevents maximum lung growth in children)
  • Occupational exposure to dust, fumes, or chemicals


The symptoms of COPD are not cured. We can get early detection and with the right treatment, it can decrease their progression and lower the likelihood of flare-ups. If a person exhibits the usual symptoms of COPD, COPD should be suspected, and spirometry—a breathing test that gauges lung function—should be used to confirm the diagnosis.  Spirometry is frequently unavailable in low- and middle-income nations, making it possible that the diagnosis will be noticed. People with COPD can do several things to enhance their general well-being and assist in controlling their condition:

Stop smoking: COPD patients should receive support to stop smoking, exercise regularly, and receive pneumonia, influenza, and coronavirus vaccines.

inhaled medication can help with symptoms and lessen flare-ups. If possible one can use a combination of inhalers to administer. Some inhalers can be used daily to prevent or lessen symptoms, as well as to provide temporary symptom relief during sudden flare-ups.

What sets COPD and asthma apart from one another?

Both asthma and COPD have symptoms, such as breathing difficulties and airflow obstruction. COPD, however, progresses over time and is chronic. Allergens frequently cause asthma to flare up. Smoking is the most common reason to cause of COPD.

COPD does not continuously inevitably develop in people with asthma. Not everyone who has COPD also has asthma. Both of these respiratory issues, however, are conceivable. You must treat both if you have anyone.

When should I dial my doctor if I have symptoms of COPD?

Call your provider as soon as you notice any COPD symptoms or indications; don't wait until your next checkup. Even if you are not feeling sick, you should report the symptoms immediately. Don't wait until your symptoms are so bad that you need emergency care. Changing your treatment or taking different medications to treat your symptoms may be an option if you identify your symptoms early. (Always consult your healthcare practitioner before altering or stopping a prescription regimen.)

Remember that warning signals or symptoms may remain consistent or change from one flare-up to the next.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Koramangala. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What are the COPD risk factors?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is closely related to cigarette smoking or tobacco use. Second-hand smoking exposure, air pollution, chemical fumes, dust, genetics/family history, and ageing are other risk factors for COPD.

2. Can COPD be cured?

Even though COPD is a chronic, incurable condition, it is treatable with the proper medical care. It is advised to be under the care of a chest disease specialist to acquire information about your disease because there may be times when the symptoms are more severe.

3. What are the symptoms of a worsening lung condition?

Shortness of breath, coughing up more sputum than usual, changes in the colour and consistency of sputum, fever, grogginess or headache, swelling of the feet, and a decreased ability to tolerate daily tasks are all indications that the condition is progressing.

4. Is COPD the same as Emphysema?

"Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease," or COPD, refers to various breathing-related lung disorders. A form of COPD called emphysema damages the air sacs in your lungs. Exposure to irritants like tobacco smoke, air pollution, or chemical fumes can result in Emphysema.

5. What is Spirometry?

Spirometry is a non-invasive technique that assists in determining a person's lung function. It entails forcing one's breathing through a tiny tube through the mouth to quantify the airflow. It includes a chest x-ray, which can rule out other lung conditions, including heart failure or Emphysema.

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