Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is a fairly common symptom in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Both chronic bronchitis and emphysema can cause breathlessness in the patient. Shortness of breath is also termed as “dyspnea.”
People with COPD have extensively damaged lungs that makes it tough for them to breathe. They often feel breathless because it is difficult to inspire and expire air from the lungs. This feeling of breathlessness can be very tiring for the patient who are forced to use accessory muscles to support their breathing. It can also make a person feel tense and frightened.
In COPD, airway passages are damaged and narrowed which results in obstruction. Shortness of breath caused by COPD can be treated if diagnosed at an early stage. First of all, patient has to take prescribed COPD medicines on daily basis. It is often advised by many pulmonologists that the patient should enroll himself in some pulmonary rehabilitation program that can help him learn ways to control their breathing in the best possible way.
Avoidance of physical activity is very common among patients of COPD. However, this habit can make the person obese and lethargic. This causes person to become even more dyspneic. A regular exercise can help improve symptoms of COPD. For some patients in the advanced stages of COPD, oxygen therapy can help decrease breathlessness.
This COPD symptoms are particularly significant during enhanced physical activity. It can make even daily tasks like walking, bathing and dressing challenging for the patient.