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Respiratory Medications > Learning Center > COPD

COPD

   

Today there are more and more people who have breathing problems from a variety of causes. One condition that has been increasing in recent years is COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Those who suffer from this condition have trouble breathing that gets progressively worse. When we breathe, air is drawn through our bronchial tubes, which are lined with tiny sacs called alveoli, into our lungs. Healthy alveoli are elastic and fill with air; in people with respiratory diseases they become damaged and cannot fill up. This causes people to have breathing problems like COPD. There are two main conditions associated with this disease, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Those suffering from emphysema have damage to the walls of the alveoli, causing them to be larger than normal or to be unable to inflate fully.

Chronic bronchitis occurs when a person’s airways are inflamed. Both of these conditions cause the patient to have trouble breathing. They are defined as chronic conditions, meaning a person always has some symptoms and they get worse over time, but sufferers can also have attacks. Like asthma attacks, sudden worse symptoms are usually caused by something in the person’s environment, like smoke, an allergen, or chemical fumes. People with COPD should avoid these triggers whenever possible. There are treatments available for this disease, including inhalers like those used by asthma sufferers. And with the increase in the occurrence of this disease has come an increase in the study of it, which will hopefully lead to more effective treatments in the future.

Related Information

Diabetic Medicaid
Testing supplies and medicine are needed by those with diabetes, and can be partly paid for with diabetic Medicaid.

Diabetic Medicare
Diabetic Medicare is generally available to those over age 65.