Essay on Copd : Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

1320 Words Nov 11th, 2014 null Page
COPD, also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a term used to describe many different progressive lung diseases. It has affected about twenty four million people in the United States. (COPD Foundation) Some of the diseases under the “COPD umbrella” are emphysema, chronic bronchitis, non-reversible asthma, and bronchiectasis. COPD is very dangerous because it can develop over many years without noticeable symptoms. When respiration takes place, air travels down the trachea to the lungs through two large tubes called bronchi. These tubes then divide into many smaller bronchioles that end in clusters of tiny air sacs called alveoli. The alveoli contain small blood vessels which are called capillaries. The oxygen from the air goes through the capillaries to the bloodstream and carbon dioxide is removed and exhaled. The natural elasticity of the bronchial tubes and alveoli is necessary to force air out of the lungs to be exhaled. COPD causes the bronchioles and alveoli to lose their elasticity and partially close. This leaves some air trapped in the lungs when exhaling takes place. The two more common conditions of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema is when the alveoli are gradually destroyed and chronic bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes.
About twenty percent of people that smoke cigarettes, pipes, and cigars are affected by COPD. (Mayo Clinic) Exposure to fumes, dust, air pollution, and chemicals in work environments and…

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