Most people who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are smokers. Those of them who smoke for a long time, cough daily but not consider a symptom of this disease. They end up in hospital when it is too late, and treatments for chronic patients, including more hospitalizations per year, reaching 3,500 euros per patient per year.
Early lesions appear around the age of 25 years, but the disease itself is installed after 40 years. COPD is a main consequence of smoking. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for long-term objective – preventing disease progression. Positive diagnosis of COPD is established based on symptoms and validated by spirometry. Pharmacological interventions may reduce the impact of COPD.
COPD, an incurable disease, but treatable. Diagnosed early, COPD is a disease that can be treated more effectively, compared with advanced stages of disease. Treatment improves respiratory symptoms and so patients can perform daily activities in much better conditions. Decline in lung function may slow down by reducing exposure to risk factors. Therefore, the main recommendation is to give up tobacco.
Treatment is based on 4 degrees of severity. Thus, a patient diagnosed with COPD in a stage IV (very severe) treatment costs exceed 4,000 euros because therapy involve emergency assistance, etc. repeated hospitalizations. In the U.S., for example, in 2003 spent about $ 18 billion for the disease. Experts warn that these costs can be significantly reduced if the disease is detected in early stages and follow an appropriate treatment from the beginning.
In our country there are approximately 11,900,000 cases of COPD. However, many patients receive improper treatment because the disease is confused with other diseases such as asthma.
It could be COPD? Honestly answer the questions below:
- Cough several times a day, most days?
- Tired and run out of breath before others the same age?
- You have over 40 years?
- Do you smoke or have smoked once?
If you answered yes to at least 3 questions you might have COPD. Therefore, consult your doctor and do a simple breathing test (spirometry).