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Age-related diseases: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

This blog is the fifth part of a new series that builds upon a previous blog that discussed common chronic diseases for seniors. The fifth blog will focus on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of diseases that block airflow from the lungs. They include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It results in difficulty breathing and frequent chest infections due to the build-up of bacteria or viruses in the lungs.

Risk factors for COPD include a history of asthma, childhood respiratory infections, exposure to second-hand smoke, and underdeveloped lungs. COPD is most common in people aged 35 years and older who are smokers.

The most common symptom in people with COPD is shortness of breath when performing activities of daily living. Furthermore, symptoms can also include a cough containing mucus that persists for a long time and wheezing.

The best way to avoid COPD is to not smoke or quit smoking if you currently do. Additionally, avoiding areas with poor air quality, which may contain smoke, gases, and dust, can help prevent the development of COPD.

People with COPD may be prescribed medication to help treat the condition. Short-acting medications relax your airways, thereby allowing you to breathe easier whereas long-acting medications reduce inflammation in your airways.

The Boom Health app allows you to manage your loved one’s home care in one app and takes the stress out of organizing care. Download the app on the App Store or Google Play Store.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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