What is COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an umbrella term used for several conditions affecting the lungs, these are chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and non-reversible asthma.  It has a huge impact on the NHS with over 8% of all hospital admissionsPulmonary Medication Heart Care in the UK relating to COPD, closely following cardiovascular at 9%. 

COPD is a debilitating, progressive disease which results in a patient experiencing symptoms, such as shortness of breath, greater mucus production and reduced exercise capacity.  Even climbing your stairs or getting dressed can be a huge challenge when you have COPD!  

The main causes of COPD include cigarette smoking, pollution, or fume inhalation; cigarette smoking being the leading cause.  Smoking results in paralysis of the cilia, healthy cilia help to filter and beat the mucus from your airways, therefore reducing mucus build up and reduce the likelihood of chest infections.  Cigarette smoke also affects the tissue of the lungs by stiffening them up, causing reducing elasticity and preventing efficient ventilation.  Also, those with COPD have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 compared to healthy individuals!

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation is a well-recognised therapy for helping to manage the symptoms of COPD.  This is achieved by following an exercise programme, which is carefully monitored by exercise physiologists; like ours at Heart Care.  The programme has helped patients to cope with their respiratory disease by reducing breathlessness, making their daily activities easier, and make them fitter!

If you want advice or know someone who would benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation, please contact our exercise physiologists at 01922 725050 or email us at [email protected]

Ryan Hodgkinson