Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) & Role of Smoking

COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is one of the diseases that are ailing the whole nation as innumerable people are getting affected by it day by day. Of the two sexes, the men are more prone to such conditions because they are generally the heavy smokers and they are the ones who generally work in the hazardous areas. So the men are the ones who should be more careful about COPD. But that does not mean that the women are free from its attack.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a collective name of the diseases that cause some type of restriction or obstruction of the passage of the lungs and it is of a permanent nature and if it is not treated early can turn worse over time. Commonly the three conditions that are considered to cause COPD are Chronic Bronchitis, Chronic Asthma and Emphysema.

The common causes of COPD are quite a few but often the cause that comes to forefront for its preventable nature is smoking, both first hand (the smokers) and second hand (passive smokers). It has been seen that the smokers account for 90% of those affected with COPD. Commonly the symptoms that the smokers show are coughing, shortness of breath, etc. the deterioration of conditions is very rapid in case of smokers. But whenever they quit smoking, it has been found that the rate of deterioration comes down to that of a non-smoker quite easily. This why the doctors say that even the most hardened of the smokers can gain in health just by quitting smoking.

One word of caution is that the passive smokers or the ones who are breathing the smoke that the smokers exhale are as much at risk as the smokers. So it is very important that those who smoke at home, where the children are, should think twice before smoking. The children can get affected too.

The other common causes of COPD are air pollution and occupational pollutants. These are mostly unavoidable. Those working in areas where very fine particles float in the air are at great risk. They should take every preventive step possible if they simply want to live long. The rarest cause of COPD is deficiency in alpha-1 antitrypsin or AAT.

But the warning is written large — the commonest cause of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is SMOKING.