COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), which is an important health problem in the world and in our country, continues to increase due to the low recognition of the disease and the lack of necessary preventive measures. There are nearly 3 million COPD patients in our country.
Biruni University Hospital Chest Diseases Specialist Assoc, stating that the increase in respiratory tract infections in winter months causes exacerbation of COPD and a more severe disease. Dr. Hande İkitimur gave important information about COPD.
“Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) occurs with respiratory symptoms and airflow restriction due to anomalies developing in the airways and alveoli as a result of significant exposure to harmful particles and gases. COPD is usually seen in the middle-aged group and is a slowly progressing disease.
10 out of 9 COPD DON'T KNOW THE DISEASE!
Although COPD is a very important public health problem, it is a late diagnosis disease that cannot be diagnosed adequately.
According to results conducted in 2003 in Adana, Turkey, one of every 10 patients with COPD than in Turkey, but is aware of COPD. According to the report prepared by the Turkish Ministry of Health within the scope of the “National Disease Burden and Cost Efficiency Project”, COPD ranks 1rd among the top 10 causes of death. COPD is a serious cause of death and illness. 3 million of 600 million patients with COPD die annually. The great economic and social burden caused by COPD is gradually increasing.
THE MOST RISKED DISEASE GROUP IN CORONAVIRUS
Since the coronavirus targets the lungs, COPD patients are among the most risky group.
The most important prevention method for these patients is not to get sick. For this, it is of great importance that they stay at home, wear a mask and comply with hand hygiene. In addition, they need to use their medicines regularly and apply to a health institution without wasting time in cases such as fever, muscle pain, and shortness of breath.
EARLY SYMPTOMS SHOULD CARE
The most important symptoms of COPD are cough, sputum and shortness of breath. As the disease progresses, the cough becomes more severe and the amount of sputum increases. Sometimes a choking cough can occur.
Patients with COPD generally consider the symptoms of the early disease as natural signs of smoking and old age and consult a doctor when the symptoms of the disease increase, especially shortness of breath.
There are two important factors that determine the severity of COPD. Exacerbations and accompanying diseases. Beyond the usual daily changes, exacerbation is an acute deterioration in which the symptoms of the patient worsen and require changes in regular treatment.
Exacerbations cause frequent hospitalizations, deaths and dramatic decline in quality of life. The most important causes of COPD exacerbation are infections and air pollution. For this reason, the risk of exacerbation increases in winter.
Diseases accompanying COPD; cardiovascular diseases (heart failure, heart attack), diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, lung cancer, sleep apnea syndrome and depression. When the relationship between COPD and accompanying diseases is examined, both the presence of diseases worsen COPD and accompanying diseases progress as COPD progresses. 25% of the patients with COPD die due to heart disease and 30% to lung cancer.
The person should not be forgotten; COPD is a preventable and treatable disease. The diagnosis of COPD should be made early, disease risk factors should be reduced and treated effectively.