Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ( Copd ) Essay

996 Words Nov 20th, 2016 4 Pages
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an illness that affects millions of people in the United States every year. COPD is a common lung disease that results in difficulties with breathing due to restricted external and internal respiration (Harris 1963). There are two types of COPD, chronic bronchitis and emphysema (Chabner 2017). Chronic bronchitis occurs as a result of inflammation in the left and right bronchial tubes which are responsible for carrying air to the lungs (Harris 1963). As a result of the inflammation, the tubes will make a large amount of mucus, which blocks the airway and causes the lungs to be poorly oxygenated (Harris 1963). As time goes on the restricted airflow causes increased mucus production and breathing difficulties. In individuals who have emphysema, the walls of the alveoli in the lungs weaken, causing air to be trapped in the lungs and form bullae. This reduces the surface area of the lungs, causing a lower amount of oxygen to be carried in the blood (Harris 1963). COPD develops slowly but worsens over time. The progression of the disease occurs in four stages based on the GOLD system (Ekberg-Aronsson et al. 2005). During the initial stage, an individual with COPD will most likely develop a persistent cough with sputum, and airflow limitations, however many people are not actively aware that these symptoms are occurring (Ekberg-Aronsson et al. 2005). During the second stage, the air restriction is much more apparent, leaving…

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