The typical features for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are a slowly developing, primarily incurable airway obstruction and a impaired exhalation flow. The disease consists of three subsidiary factors: chronic bronchitis, airway obstruction and emphysema. Emphysema is characterised by the small pulmonary alveoli being expanded but decreased in number and create less surface area for oxygen transfer to the blood and thus a sensation of it being difficult to get air. Associated diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, depression and lung cancer are more common among COPD patients than other people the same age.
Typical symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- secretion of mucous from the airways
In the beginning, the patient does not necessarily notice their symptoms, but in time these become more pronounced, particularly if the patient smokes. The more exposed to tobacco smoke someone is, the greater the risk of developing COPD. Stopping smoking and starting to exercise are among the central tenets of treatment.
When treating COPD, the aim is to alleviate the symptoms, improve quality of life, slow down the progress of the disease and prevent deterioration. The medical treatment of COPD is individual and depends on factors such as the quantity of symptoms and the risk of deterioration. The aim of medical treatment is to alleviate the patient’s symptoms and prevent deterioration. The individual picture of the disease and medical treatment of this is reassessed at each follow-up appointment.