Long-term exposure to particulate matter including nicotine from smoking can give rise to a series of lung diseases. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used for a series of lung inflammation diseases that results in the obstruction of airflow from the lungs.
According to Mayo Clinic, medical conditions including emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two common conditions that contribute to the development of COPD. In addition to this, people suffering from the medical condition are likely at a higher risk of developing heart disease and lung cancer.
It is important to note, COPD is a progressive disease that gets worse if left untreated. Its detection in the early stage can reduce the risk of developing associated conditions. Now, in a recent interaction with HT Digital, a Consultant Chest Physician and Interventional Pulmonologist at Bhatia Hospital Mumbai, Dr. Jeenam Shah, highlighted the early signs of COPD that can help in achieving good symptom control from the initial stages.
According to the medical expert, those suffering from COPD commonly have unexplained chronic coughs that can likely last throughout the day. If you have been coughing persistently for more than four to eight weeks, you must seek medical help as it can be an early indicator of COPD.
Phlegm in the lungs
Apart from coughing, COPD also results in an increased production of mucus, called phlegm in the lungs. If the phlegm is yellow or green in colour, it indicates the presence of some kid infectious lung inflammation in the body, one of which could be COPD.
Another early sign of COPD is shortness of breath. If you’ve been feeling tired and fatigued easily after walking or climbing activities, it likely means that your lungs have weakened.
If you are not dieting or intentionally trying to lose weight, but notice that some unexplained phenomenon has resulted in losing some grams, then it could be one of the early signs of COPD. The doctor explains that shortness of breathlessness can sometimes result in unexplained weight loss.
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