World COPD Day COPD has Emerged as Devastating Disease in Post-COVID Days

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has emerged as a devastative disease, especially in Post-COVID days. The COVID patients should be cautious for COPD in Post-COVID day, said Dr Amrut Kumar Mohapatra, Associate Professor, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, KIMS in a press conference here in Bhubaneswar on 16th November.  

COPD makes it difficult for a person to breathe. Initially, symptoms can be mild but as the diseases progress, these symptoms can become severe and frequent or continuous. The primary symptoms of COPD are producing an excess amount of mucus (phlegm), Chest tightening, Coughing, Wheezing, Shortness of breath (dyspnea) after exercising or even after climbing a few stairs, frequent respiratory infections such as cold and flu. In later stages of COPD, a person may experience fatigue, weight loss, blue or grey fingernails (a sign of a low oxygen level in blood), inability to talk, feeling confused, etc. and these symptoms would require immediate medical attention, Dr. Mohapatra informed.

Currently, COPD is one of the 3 commonest causes of death worldwide with 90% of these deaths occurring in middle and low socio-economic status countries like India. In 2012, nearly 3 million people died of COPD, accounting for 6% of all deaths. According to the global burden of disease, COPD is the 2nd leading cause of death in India. The prevalence in 2019 was estimated to be around 37.8 million. A number of factors are associated with the development of COPD of which smoking is the most important. However, not all smokers develop COPD. Other than smoking people with Asthma, Exposure to second-hand smoke, Workplace exposure to chemicals and dust, Household air pollution can develop COPD.

The most essential step in any treatment plan for COPD is to quit all smoking. Stopping smoking can keep COPD from getting worse. People with COPD have mild forms of the disease for which little therapy is needed other than smoking cessation. Even for more advanced stages of the disease, effective therapy is available that can control symptoms, slow progression, reduce your risk of complications and exacerbations, and improve the ability to lead an active life. The important thing is that everyone should be aware of COPD, said Dr. Mohapatra. Among others Dr. C. M. Rao, HOD, Dept. of pulmonary medicine, KIMS; Dr. P. Singh, Dr. D. Behera, and Dr. S. R. Panigrahi also briefed the press on awareness of COPD. 

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