COPD: A serious condition but it is preventable
Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD) is a common problem affecting millions of people in the U.S. COPD accounts for millions of emergency department visits yearly. COPD is reported to be the third leading cause of death in the U.S. It is reported that 90 percent of COPD cases are due to smoking. In order to understand what COPD is, we have to have a basic understanding of how the lungs work. The lungs’ primary function is to deliver oxygen (02) to the blood and remove carbon dioxide (C02), known as respiration. The lung is like a complex collection of small air sacks that are surrounded by blood vessels and are connected to air passages. These passages start out large at the wind pipe (trachea) and become progressively smaller as they branch into bronchi and bronchioles. The lungs have elastic tissue that allows them to act like a balloon if it were blown up and then released. The lung tissue tends to return to its normal resting shape (like a balloon) after it has been stretched.