Sometimes COPD can be misdiagnosed. People who use to smoke long time ago can be diagnosed as COPD patient. However, the patient who have the disease may not notice until the disease is advance. Some complications with COPD patient are heart failure, pneumothorax (where the lungs collapses spontaneously).
Lung infections for instance PNA, and COPD patient may have an increased risk of developing cancer. To diagnose COPD, physician will order a PFT (pulmonary function Test). This test function in measuring the quantity of air a patient can inhale and exhale, and to make your lungs are delivering enough oxygen to your blood.
Spirometry which is a test where a patient breathes into a tube is the most common PFT test. This test measures how much volume the lungs can hold doing inhalation and how much and how fast air volume is being exhaled. It also use in measuring Forced vital capacity(FVC) which is the largest amount of air exhaled after breathing in deeply in one second low reading restrict breathing and forced Expiratory volume(FEV) which is how much air a person can exhale within one second, low reading shows severity.
The physician may also order a chest X-Ray/CT Scan which can show emphysema, one of the primary causes of COPD. An X-ray can also rule out different lung issues or coronary heart failure. Arterial blood gas analysis is another test that is use for the diagnosis of COPD. This blood test measures how nicely your lungs are bringing oxygen into your blood and taking off carbon dioxide.
Laboratory test may be done which are not used to diagnose COPD, however they are used to determine the cause of your signs and symptoms. For example, laboratory tests may be used to determine if you have the genetic disorder alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAt) deficiency, which may be the cause of a few cases of COPD. Laboratory test can also be completed to see if you have a family history of COPD or you were diagnosed with COPD at a young age, under age 45.
There are several ways to treat COPD. Life time changes are very important in COPD patient like quitting smoking, avoiding air pollution, Dust and chemical fumes and getting regular exercise. Medical treatments for COPD may consist of inhaled medications and oral medications.
The most common medication used in treating COPD includes inhale Bronchodilators which patients breathe into the lungs to open up dilate the airway or bronchial. Other medications such as corticosteroid, methylxanthines, phosphodiesterase-4 can be use with the bronchodilators in a spencer.
Corticosteroids can only be inhale when combine with one or more bronchodilators. Inhale steroids may help to reduce inflammation in the lungs. If your COPD become more severe a physician may prescribe a combination of bronchodilator and inhaler steroids. PDE-4 inhibitor is also prescribed if they is no relief of symptoms from other medications, it also improve the quality life, Antibiotics are used to control bacterial lung infections, especially during acute flare-ups.
Oral corticosteroids such as Spirvia and Predisone should only be used during acute exacerbations, it should not be use on routine basis. These medicines help lower the chance of relapse, help patient get over flare-ups faster. Taking Flu and pneumonia vaccines is very important with patient COPD patient. these vaccines help prevent illness, and lower the chance of flare-up and needing hospital care. Oxygen therapy may also be needed for patient with COPD, this will better their breathe and improve physical activities and help the patient to sleep better.