Chronic obstruction pulmonary disease (COPD) includes emphysema,
chronic bronchitis, and Asthma -- diseases that are characterized by
obstruction to airflow. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis frequently
coexist. COPD, which is the fourth leading cause of death, claims the
lives of almost 112,584 Americans annually.
- Risk Factors for COPD: Smoking (80-90%), Passive smoking, ambient air
pollution, hyper-responsive airways, and Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
(less than 1%).
- More than 17 million Americans suffer from Asthma, which is the
seventh-ranking chronic condition in America
- Asthma can be a life-threatening disease if not properly managed.
Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. These
are caused by bronchospasm, inflammation of bronchi, and increased
mucus, which can be triggered by allergens, chemicals, and environment
- Chronic bronchitis is an inflammation and eventual scarring of the
lining of the bronchial tubes. An estimated 8.9 million people were
diagnosed with chronic bronchitis in 1998.
- Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include chronic cough, increased mucus,
frequent clearing of the throat and shortness of breath.
- Emphysema causes irreversible lung damage. The walls between the air
sacs within the lungs lose their ability to stretch and recoil. They
become weakened and break. Elasticity of the lung tissue is lost,
causing air to be trapped in the air sacs and impairing the exchange of
oxygen and carbon dioxide. Also, the support of the airways is lost,
allowing for obstruction of airflow.
- An estimated three million Americans have been diagnosed with emphysema
sometime in their life. Of the emphysema sufferers, 57 percent are
male and 43 percent are female. While more men suffer from the
disease than women do, the condition is increasing among women.
- Symptoms of emphysema include cough, shortness of breath and a limited
exercise tolerance. The patient's history, examination and other tests
make diagnosis possible
- Restrictive Lung disease, which includes Interstitial Fibrosis,
Sarcoidosis, and occupational or environmental lung disease are
characterized by "stiff" lungs whereas one can not expand or are unable
to "take a deep breath". There are more then 200,000 people suffer
with restrictive lung disease. Symptoms are comprised of
breathlessness during activities and dry cough. Because of poor
oxygen transfer into the blood one will exhibit lower oxygen levels and
may need supplemental oxygen.