Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a medical condition that reduces airflow in the lungs of a person due to the increase in mucus secretion that was caused by continuous exposure to a number of irritants, for example, tobacco smoke. It is worth mentioning that given the widely spread habit of smoking as well as general high level of air pollution in the world, this medical condition should be seen as one that can place lives of numerous people at risks. Since there is no cure for it, the doctors are expected to be able to diagnose it as soon as possible in order to provide appropriate management that would decrease the severity of the symptoms.Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Essay
The medical condition in question that is characterized by the obstruction of airways (Hogg et al. 2004). It happens due to the increased amount of mucus which is produced by bronchial mucinous glands. Under normal conditions, the latter produce mucus in the amount that is sufficient and does not blow the airways. However, if the bronchial mucinous glands are exposed to various irritants, they start producing more mucus than needed. Given the small size of airways, any increase in the amount of mucus will result in their partial obstruction. Eventually, the capacity of lungs will be reduced due to the fact that some air has been trapped.
The major way in which the changes which were mentioned above are manifested is the changed ratio of Forced Expiratory volume in 1 (FEV1) to Forced Vital Capacity (FVC). This is manifested as shortness of breath (Gan, Man, Senthilselvan, & Sin, 2004). Thus, both FEV1 and FVC are decreased if compared to a normal person; however, FEV1 is decreased even more which means that a person has a difficulty breathing the air out. Another important manifestation to be mentioned is a productive cough. Since the amount of mucus was increased, the airways have to be cleared by extensive coughing as conventional mechanisms are not useful.
It is rather obvious that since the medical condition in question is localized in the lungs, then the respiratory system is affected the most. Indeed, bronchi represent the part of the lungs that is the most affected by the changes which were brought up by the irritants (Eisner, Balmes, Katz, Trupin, Yelin, & Blanc, 2005). In addition to that, there is also a possibility that harmful bacteria will colonize behind the mucus plugging. However, the circulatory system is also affected due to the increased amount of carbon dioxide and the decreased amount of oxygen trapped in blood. Finally, one should not forget about cor pulmonale which is the enlargement of the right ventricle of hearing which can trigger a failure. Other than that, the overall quality of life is affected due to a decrease of one’s potential to perform activities.Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Essay