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Symptoms and causes of COPD
1) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is not simply one disease, but a term used for two diseases that are often co-existing, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
2) COPD is not curable and usually not reversible. Instead of getting better, it progressively gets worse with time.
3) COPD can also be known as CORD (chronic obstructive respiratory disease), COLD (chronic obstructive lung disease), CAL (chronic airflow limitation), and COAD (chronic obstructive airway disease), though it is most often referred to as COPD.
4) COPD is most often caused by tobacco smoking. It can also be caused by occupational hazards such as welding and coal mining, indoor and outdoor air pollution, and genetics, although 80-90 percent of COPD cases are caused by smoking cigarettes.
5) It is uncommon for COPD to be diagnosed in someone under the age of 40 years old.
6) Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs), such as the Spirometry, can help diagnose the disease by measuring the speed and flow of air during inhalation and exhalation. An X-ray may also be used to show an affected lung or to rule out other diseases.
7) The symptoms of COPD are shortness of breath (dyspnea), cough, fatigue, wheezing, chest tightness, and mucous production. Air pollution and infections can cause sudden sustained worsening of symptoms, called acute exacerbations.
8) In 1990 COPD was the sixth leading cause of death worldwide; it is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.
9) Since there is no cure, management techniques such as drug therapy, vaccinations, and smoking cessation or employed to help those suffering with the disease. Many patients will eventually need a long-term oxygen therapy and/or lung transplant.
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For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.
The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.
To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.