Know the causes of COPD and how to prevent it

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Know the causes of COPD and how to prevent it
Know the causes of COPD and how to prevent it
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COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can be caused by various things. However, the main cause of COPD is smoking. Until now, COPD still cannot be cured. Therefore, prevention is very necessary

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease that occurs gradually and gets worse over time. This condition occurs when the lungs or the airways in the lungs become inflamed, narrowed, or even damaged.

Know the Causes of COPD and Preventive Steps - Alodokter

COPD makes the flow of air from the lungs blocked so that sufferers find it difficult to breathe. This disease is mostly experienced by middle-aged men or women who have a smoking habit.

Various Causes of COPD

The following are some of the important causes of COPD that you should know about:

1. Smoking habit

Smoking, both active and passive, is the main cause of COPD. It is estimated that around 80–90% of COPD cases are caused by smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke.

When a person inhales cigarette smoke, the harmful chemicals in the smoke can cause the lining of the respiratory tract and lungs to become inflamed and swollen. Over time, this can make the airways and lungs unable to function properly.

In addition, cigarette smoke can also damage hair cells in the respiratory tract (cilia), so that their function to remove mucus, germs, viruses, and harmful particles in the respiratory tract is disrupted. This condition makes smokers vulnerable to COPD.

2. Air pollution

The habit of breathing dirty air or exposure to air pollution as well as global warming in the long term can damage the lungs quickly, thus triggering COPD.

Several types of pollutants or air pollutants that can cause COPD, including vehicle fumes, factory fumes, dust, coal ash or smoke haze from forest burning, welding fumes, and silica dust.

3. Genetic factors

Genetic disorders can also be a cause of COPD. This disorder occurs when the body of a person with COPD can't produce enough alpha-1-antitrypsin.

Alpha-1-antitrypsin is a protein that functions to protect the lungs. Without this protein, the lungs will become more easily damaged and inflamed from exposure to smoke and dust.

A person whose body lacks alpha-1-antitrypsin will usually develop COPD at a younger age, especially if they have a smoking habit.

4. Asthma

In some cases, untreated asthma will gradually damage the lungs to cause COPD. However, not all people with asthma will develop COPD.

How to Prevent COPD

The main step in preventing COPD is to stay away from the cause. Not only to prevent the occurrence of COPD, these steps can also help relieve and make COPD from getting worse.

To protect yourself from COPD, there are several preventative steps you can take, including:

  • Quit smoking and always stay away from cigarette smoke
  • Avoid exposure to dust, smoke, pollution or other pollutants, especially if you live or work in an environment with poor air quality
  • Understanding flu and pneumococcal vaccinations to prevent and reduce the risk of infections of the respiratory tract and lungs
  • Implementing a he althy lifestyle by exercising regularly, eating a balanced nutritious diet, and drinking enough water (about 8 glasses per day)

COPD develops slowly and is often not noticed by the sufferer. Therefore, if you are a person who is at high risk of developing COPD, such as an active smoker, you should consult a doctor.

This is important to do to prevent more severe disruption or damage to the function of the respiratory tract or lungs.

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