Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Essay Example

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The main cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking due to the lungs’ airways being affected by mucus. Other irritants to the lungs include dust, chemicals, pollen, outdoor pollutants, and more. Over time, these can become factors for the development of chronic bronchitis. Emphysema, another part of the triad, is also progressive. The Mayo Clinic (2005) explains that emphysema causes a loss of elasticity in the walls of the small air sacs in (the) lungs. Eventually, the walls stretch and break, creating larger, less efficient air sacs that are not able to handle the normal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Emphysema is usually not detected in its earlier phases and approximately three million people are diagnosed with emphysema after it has progressed and the effects are irreversible. Like chronic bronchitis, the main cause of emphysema is cigarette smoking. Low protein deficiencies and genetic factors may play a small role also. Asthma is also part of the COPD, as stated earlier. Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways, which are the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. The airways become highly sensitive when inflamed and react strongly to irritants and allergens. They react by constricting and becoming smaller; therefore, causing wheezing, air restriction, tightness of the chest, and coughing. COPD leads to a decrease in airflow when an individual exhales. The obstruction of airflow causes the body’s system to struggle in order to breathe and this obstruction causes oxygen to be trapped in the lungs. ...Show more

Summary

In the paper “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” the author analyzes a chronic lung disease, such as asthma or emphysema. The disease affects the lungs and progresses slowly. Symptoms include chronic cough, mucus and sputum, and shortness of breath which can be quite extreme.

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