Treatments for COPD

March 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Lung Health

COPD, short for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is characterised by chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Bronchitis is the inflammation of the air passages in the lungs. Emphysema is the inability to exhale due to collapse of air passages. There some are treatments that can give relief to those suffering from this condition.

Abstain from Smoking:

Smoking is a major risk factor in causing COPD. It can also worsen COPD further. So quit smoking -smoking can damage lungs.

Quitting smoking is easy with the rehabilitation treatments available. To treat withdrawal symptoms, Varenicline is handy. Antidepressents like Bupropion curb the urge to smoke. Nicotine patches and Nicorette gum help as substitutes for cigarettes.

Therapy with drugs:

Corticosteroids like Prednisone and Prednisolone help the twenty to thirty percent severely affected cases of chronic bronchitis and emphysema. However, the long term usage of this drug leads to side-effects like excess weight, high blood-pressure, susceptibility to diabetes and osteoporosis. Hence it is to be used with due care.

Bronchodilators help in treatment of asthmatic conditions. They relax the lung muscles. They can be administered in the form of pill or through inhalers or intravenous injections.

Beta-agonists are used as a treatment for dyspnea, a condition of breathlessness. This medication attaches itself to the muscles along the airways of the lung. They relax these muscles and thereby give more way for air passage. Breathing is made more comfortable. These medications start working within a few minutes after their administration but last for about half a day. Their effect gradually reduces over time. Serevent and Foradil are examples of beta-agonists.

Nerve cells release acetylcholine, a chemical, which constricts the surrounding muscles. Lungs are constricted by acetylcholine. Anticholinergic drugs relax the muscles around the air passage in the lungs. The drug is administered using MDI inhaler device. Atrovent is an anticholinergic drug. These also give relief to those suffering from dyspnea.

Those finding relief with anticholinergic drugs are also able to perform some light exercises. Exercise makes the muscles of the lungs taut. Taut muscles of the lungs enable the lungs take in more oxygen. More oxygen intake will give more vitality to all the organs of the body. This gives further relief to a COPD afflicted.

If you suffer COPD take relief with the above treatments for COPD.