Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease also recognized as COPD is one of the most common diseases of respiratory nature in our society. This disease is the most typical for individuals who smoke on the regular basis. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a serious condition and in many cases, it leads to death. The rates of COPD among modern individuals are growing, and if this tendency continues to progress, there is a risk that COPD may hit the top of the list of the leading causes of death in just a couple of decades.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects people’s lungs and airways causing permanent damage to the respiratory system. COPD results in the shortness of breath that is accompanied by such symptoms as progressive coughing, sputum, and chronic inflammatory processes in the airways that appear as a reaction to constant inhalation of harmful substances (Herath & Poole, 2013). This disease makes the airways narrower and therefore breathing becomes difficult (Han, Stoller, & Hollingsworth, 2015). As a result, the patients may experience problems getting enough oxygen in their blood and releasing excess carbon dioxide. As a disease, COPD is preventable and there are treatments for it.
As COPD is caused by cigarette smoking in most cases, its main prevention treatment targets this habit as damage to one’s airways and lungs can be prevented using a tobacco cessation program (Mayo Clinic, 2015). The best ways to prevent COPD from appearing or progressing start with smoking cessation measures. However, the programs targeting the harmful habit of smoking have low effectiveness because of the addictive properties of nicotine (Mosenifar, 2015). Smoking may be facilitated by various factors such as the forceful promotion of this behavior, depression, and stress encouraging an individual to seek stress-reduction measures, or poor health literacy. The programs addressing the habit may be delivered with the help of communities, workplaces, family members, caregivers, or based on self-help (Mosenifar, 2015). Moreover, the individuals who already have COPD are recommended to get vaccinated for flu because catching flu they are likely to develop complications such as pneumonia and expose themselves to higher risks (COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) – Prevention, 2014). The upstream prevention of COPD includes the promotion of a non-smoking lifestyle to the youth (teenagers and adolescents) who have little or no experience smoking (Herath & Poole, 2013).
Smoking causes 75% of all COPD cases; the rest are facilitated by harmful workplace conditions that expose the employees to chemicals and gases that result in the damage of people’s airways and lungs (Herath & Poole, 2013). Moreover, genetic factor such as asthma and environmental influence such as air pollution is the other triggers of COPD. These causes may be prevented through a range of public health programs targeting environmental or occupation-related impacts. The treatment of asthma provided at an early age is another way of minimizing rates of COPD (Herath & Poole, 2015).
To sum up, the prevention of COPD may be divided into two main strategies – the prevention of complications and the prevention before the disease appears (How Can COPD Be Prevented? 2013). The former approach targets the individuals who already suffer from this disease and the second one is oriented to those who are at potential risk of COPD. The prevention of smoking is the main strategy for the reduction of the risks of COPD around the world.
Herath S. C., & Poole, P. (2015). Prophylactic antibiotic therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) Review. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Han, M. K., Stoller, J. K., & Hollingsworth, H. (2015). Patient information: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatments (Beyond the Basics). Web.
How Can COPD Be Prevented? (2013). Web.
Mayo Clinic. (2015). Prevention. Web.
Mosenifar, Z. (2015). Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Treatment & Management. Web.