Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease – Treatment, Prevention and Home Remedies for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease refers to the disorder of lungs, where the airflow is blocked making it increasingly difficult for a patient to breathe. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two main conditions that cause COPD. When damage occurs to the airways it interferes with the exchange of gases in the lungs. COPD is a leading cause of death and illness throughout the world. Damage to the lungs cannot be reversed but treatment is focused on controlling the symptoms and to limit the damage.
Treatment for COPD
Though there is no cure for COPD, the damage done to the lungs cannot be reversed but the treatment can control the symptoms. The treatment includes:
- Bronchodilators are the medications that come in an inhaler that relax the muscles around the airway.
- There are long-acting and short-acting bronchodilators that a doctor can prescribe depending on the severity of the symptoms.
- Antibiotics may be given in case of respiratory infections like pneumonia, influenza and acute bronchitis as these can aggravate COPD symptoms.
Surgery is done on those people with some forms of severe emphysema. The surgical intervention includes:
- Lung volume reduction surgery: The surgeon removes small wedge-shaped tissue from the damaged lung. This helps to create space in the chest cavity so that the remaining lung tissue can work more efficiently.
- Lung transplant: In some cases, single lung transplantation can be done depending upon the condition of the patient. This can improve the ability to breathe and remain active but this procedure is complicated and has a long waiting procedure as the patient has to wait for a donor.
Doctors use certain additional therapies with moderate or severe COPD. The different therapies include:
- Oxygen therapy: The main symptom of COPD is breathlessness, hence a doctor may administer oxygen to improve the breathing pattern of the patient. Oxygen can improve the heart function and can extend the life of the patient.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation programme: Several programs are combined like education, exercise training, nutrition advice and counseling. A specialist can tailor these programs to meet your needs.
Certain lifestyle changes can help prevent COPD. They include:
- The first thing is to stop smoking and avoid respiratory irritants.
- Maintain proper hygiene as this reduces the risk of infections.
- Avoid substances or allergens that cause allergic reaction which leads to COPD.
- Eat a healthy diet and drink lots of water.
- Maintain proper weight by exercising to increase muscle tone.
- Avoid tobacco smoking or inhaling second hand tobacco smoke.
- Pay special attention to frequent heart burn.
- See your doctor frequently and keep monitoring the lung function.
Home Remedies for COPD
The common natural remedies include:
- Echinacea: The root extracts of this plant are used for medicinal purposes and this herb is used in pill form. It helps to fight upper respiratory tract infections.
- Asian Ginseng: These herb extracts are used to boost the immune system and treat people with chronic lung infections.
- Licorice root: This root is used to heal bronchitis and other infections of the lungs.
- Astragalus root: The extracts of this root are used to fight respiratory tract infections and other heart diseases.
- Ginger: The underground stems of the ginger plant are used for medicinal purposes like infections of the lungs.