Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Symptoms and Treatment

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (the formulation of the diagnosis of COPD) is a pathological process for which a partial restriction of airflow in the airways is peculiar. The disease causes irreversible changes in the human body, so there is a greater threat to life if the treatment was not scheduled on time.


The pathogenesis of COPD has not yet been fully understood. But experts identify the main factors that cause the pathological process. As a rule, the pathogenesis of the disease includes progressive bronchial obstruction. The main factors affecting the formation of the disease are:

  • Smoking.
  • Adverse conditions of professional activity.
  • A damp and cold climate.
  • Mixed-genital infection.
  • Acute lingering bronchitis
  • Diseases of the lungs
  • Genetic predisposition.

What are the manifestations of the disease?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a pathology that is most often diagnosed in patients aged 40 years. The first symptoms of the disease, which begins to notice the patient, cough and shortness of breath. Often this condition occurs in combination with whistles during breathing and sputum discharge. At first it comes out in a small volume. The symptoms are more pronounced in the morning.

Coughing is the very first symptom that worries patients. In the cold season, respiratory diseases worsen, which play an important role in the formation of COPD. Obstructive pulmonary disease has the following symptoms:

  1. Dyspnoea, which is troublesome when performing physical exertion, and can then hit a person during rest.
  2. Dyspnea becomes worse with dust, cold air
  3. Symptoms are supplemented by a low-productivity cough with hard-to-recover sputum
  4. Dry wheezing of a high tempo with exhalation
  5. Symptoms of emphysema of the lungs


The classification of COPD is based on the severity of the disease. In addition, it assumes the presence of a clinical picture and functional indicators.

Classification of COPD involves 4 stages:

  • The first stage — the patient does not notice any pathological abnormalities. He can attend a chronic cough. Organic changes are uncertain, therefore it is not possible to diagnose COPD at this stage.
  • The second stage — the disease is not difficult. Patients consult a doctor about dyspnea during exercise. Another chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is accompanied by an intense cough.
  • The third stage of COPD is accompanied by a severe course. It is characterized by the presence of limited airflow into the respiratory tract, therefore dyspnea is formed not only with physical exertion, but also at rest.
  • The fourth stage is extremely difficult. The emerging symptoms of COPD are of a dangerous nature for life. There is a corkiness of the bronchi and a pulmonary heart is formed. Patients who are diagnosed with Stage 4 COPD receive a disability.

Diagnostic Methods

Diagnosis of the presented disease includes the following methods:

  1. Spirometry is a method of research, through which it is possible to determine the first manifestations of COPD.
  2. Measuring the vital capacity of the lungs
  3. Sputum cytology. Such diagnostics make it possible to determine the nature and severity of the inflammatory process in the bronchi.
  4. A blood test can detect an increased concentration of erythrocytes, hemoglobin and hematocrit in COPD.
  5. Radiography of the lungs allows to determine the presence of compaction and changes in bronchial walls
  6. ECGs provide data on the development of pulmonary hypertension
  7. Bronchoscopy is a method that allows you to diagnose COPD, as well as look at the bronchi and determine their condition.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a pathological process that can not be cured. However, the doctor appoints his patient a certain therapy, thanks to which he can reduce the frequency of exacerbations and prolong the life of a person. The pathogenesis of the disease has a great influence on the course of the prescribed therapy, because it is very important to eliminate the cause that contributes to the onset of pathology. In this case, the doctor appoints the following activities:

  • Treatment of COPD involves the use of medications that work to increase the clearance of the bronchi.
  • Mucolytic agents are used to dilute sputum and excrete it into the therapy process.
  • Help to stop the inflammatory process with glucocorticoids. But prolonged use is not recommended, as serious side effects begin to occur.
  • If there is an exacerbation, then this indicates the presence of its infectious origin. In this case, the doctor prescribes antibiotics and antibacterial drugs. Their dosage is prescribed taking into account the sensitivity of the microorganism.
  • For those who suffer from heart failure, oxygen therapy is necessary. In case of exacerbation, the patient is prescribed a sanatorium treatment.
  • If the diagnosis has confirmed the presence of pulmonary hypertension and COPD, accompanied by reporting, the treatment includes diuretics. Elimination of arrhythmia is helped by glycosides.

COPD is a disease that can not be treated without a properly formulated diet. The reason is that the loss of muscle mass can lead to death.

The patient can be put on inpatient treatment if he has:

  1. high intensity of manifestation increase
  2. treatment does not give the desired result;
  3. a new symptom arises;
  4. heart rhythm is broken;
  5. Diagnosis determines diseases such as diabetes mellitus, pneumonia, inadequate kidney and liver function
  6. unable to provide medical care on an outpatient basis
  7. Difficulties in diagnosis.

Preventive measures

Prophylaxis of COPD includes a complex of measures, thanks to which each person can warn his or her organism from this pathological process. It consists of the following recommendations:

  • Pneumonia and influenza are the most common causes of COPD. Therefore, it is necessary to put flu shots every year.
  • Once every 5 years, vaccinate against pneumococcal infection, which helps protect your body from pneumonia. Only the attending physician can prescribe the vaccination after a proper examination.
  • The taboo on smoking.

Complications of COPD can be very diverse, but, as a rule, they all lead to disability. Therefore, it is important to carry out the treatment on time and be under the supervision of a specialist all the time. And it is best to carry out preventive measures in order to prevent the formation of the pathological process in the lungs and to prevent themselves from this ailment.