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  • drgoelmanoj@yahoo.co.in
Dr. Manoj K Goel
Director & Head
Dept of Pulmonology, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
Fortis Memorial Research Institute,Gurugram(Delhi & NCR)

Q1)  What is COPD

COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease refers to chronic progressive obstruction to airflow in the lungs which interferes with normal breathing.

Q2)Who is at risk of getting COPD?

Smoking is the commonest risk factor for developing COPD. Passive smoking by family members of smokers are also at risk.  Besides, environmental factors in the form of occupational exposure and air pollution can all contribute to developing COPD.

Q3)What are the symptoms of COPD?

Cough, which people often tend to ignore as simple smokers cough , may actually be the first and most common symptom of COPD.  Other common symptoms  include progressive breathlessness, expectoration of phlegm, wheezing and recurrent chest infections.

Q4)How is COPD diagnosed?

Diagnosis of COPD isprimarily based on relevant clinical history and lung function test.  In fact symptoms are appreciated quite late after significant damage to lung has already occurred. 

Q5)When you should contact a doctor?

Consult your doctor if you have been a smoker so that further damage to the lungs can be prevented by an early diagnosis and treatment.   Acute exacerbation of COPD causes significant increase in symptoms which if not treated early may prove to be fatal. You should contact your doctor immediately if you have an increase in breathlessness andexpectoration; or if you develop fever, chest tightness, excessive irritability or drowsiness.

Q6) Is COPD treatable?

Yes.Life style modification like smoking cessation, avoidance of environmental pollution as far as possible and occupational rehabilitation play an important role to halt further disease progression.   Bronchodilators given via puffs and nebulization form the cornerstone of treatment.

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