COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Asthma is a respiratory illness that affects more than three hundred million people around the world. It's responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year as well, so learning all that you can about it is important if you are diagnosed with it. Most of the symptoms of asthma occur early on and help point towards the diagnosis of the disease, but some of the most serious asthma symptoms are actually long term complications of the condition. If you have chronic asthma, for instance, there is a very high probability that you will also develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also commonly called COPD.
Like asthma, COPD is a respiratory illness. It often manifests on its own, but in cases of chronic asthma it has been shown to be a symptom that will develop over the years. Those over the age of 65 with respiratory illness will likely have both COPD and asthma at the same time. The specific symptoms of COPD are also extremely similar to asthma and in many cases the actual diagnosis of it is missed by most physicians due to the presence of asthma. However, COPD causes thickened walls in the airway, smooth bronchi, and higher airway neutrophils. All of these things can help set it apart from asthma as a separate but similar condition.
While COPD is another major illness that can have a serious impact on your overall health and well-being, it is often treated in the same manner that asthma is. Corticosteroids, breathing treatments, emergency inhalers, and other methods are used to manage both and since they are effective you shouldn't have to add too much to your current asthma regimen if you're one of the many who will gradually develop Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease as a result of your long term asthma. It's not great news, but it is at least easier to manage than you may think.
Developing asthma will have a huge impact on your life, and knowing the various symptoms and how to deal with them is important. Most are familiar with the difficulty breathing and the terrifying asthma attacks that are common, but it often surprises asthma patients to learn that their asthma has caused them to develop COPD. There's little that you can do to stop it short of avoiding various environmental factors, but knowing that it is a possibility is a good way to ensure that you're prepared in the event that it happens to you.