Cardio and Pulmonary Conditions
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a group of progressive lung diseases, with the most common being emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Many patients with COPD have both of these conditions.
Emphysema slowly destroys air sacs of the lungs and affects the air flow. Bronchitis causes inflammation of the airway which in turn causes the airway to thicken and become clogged with mucous. It can also cause spasm of the airway which increases the obstruction.
The leading cause of COPD is smoking. Long term exposure to chemical irritants can also lead to COPD.
Symptoms may be mild at first, beginning with coughing and shortness of breath, and wheezing. However, the symptoms can continue to get worse over a period of time and lead to heart problems and worsening respiratory infections.
There is no cure for COPD. Available treatments are medications, inhalers, oxygen therapy, but the most important thing is to quit smoking.
COPD is a condition that affects longevity and quality of life tremendously.
Stem cell therapy has shown promise in mild to moderate cases, with improvement in symptoms, general well being and less dependence on oxygen.