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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Disease characterized by air flow limitation that is not fully reversible. COPD Includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Cigarette smoking and respiratory infections are most common causes of COPD.


Clinical signs and symptoms

  • Cough
  • Sputum production
  • Breathlessness on exertion
  • Air hunger, gasping, breathlessness even at rest in later stages

Risk factors

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Respiratory infections
  • Occupational exposure – coal mining, gold mining, dust etc
  • Air pollution
  • Genetic risk factors- Alpha 1 –antitrypsin deficiency


  • Increased heart rate and respiratory rate
  • Respiratory infections
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Lung cancer

Tests and diagnosis

  • Complete blood count
  • Chest x-ray
  • Pulmonary function test- spirometry
  • Sputum examination
  • CT chest

Preventive measures

  • To quit smoking
  • Avoid occupational exposure to chemical fumes and dust.
  • Avoid strenuous exercises.
  • Avoid cold weather (cold dry air).

Immediate medical intervention needed when there is

  • Severe wheezing
  • Confusion, sleepiness/drowsiness
  • Cyanosis
  • Increased heart rate and respiratory rate

Life style changes and home remedies

  • Clear your airways by gentle coughing/ drinking plenty of water
  • Breathe through nose instead of your mouth when you ate outside
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Proper breathing exercises


  • Oxygen therapy by face mask 5-6 lts
  • Nebulization with bronchodilators and steroid
  • Antibiotics- lll generation Cephalosporins, anti pseudomonal penicillin’s
  • Bronchodilators- Salbutamol, Deriphylline, Aminophylline- IV route/ inhalation
  • Steroids- by inhalation (Budesenoid) and IV injections (Hydrocortisone)
  • Expectorants- Bromhexine, Guaiphenasin, Ambroxyl
  • Steam inhalation or saline inhalation to liquefy sputum