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Life Insurance for COPD Sufferers
It's not easy to to get insurance if you suffer from COPD. Fortunately, we specialize in finding the best life insurance for seniors with COPD. In fact, we help find insurance for copd sufferers, of any age.
More about COPD
COPD is a group of persistent lung diseases. The diseases block the lungs' proper airflow and cause breathing problems. Abnormal air sacs and swelling of the air tract cause air blockage. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are common disorders of COPD. COPD contributes to one-third of all reported deaths in the USA. There are around 16.4 million COPD patients in the USA. A significant number of people could be having the condition. Yet, they are not aware of it. COPD is not curable. Medicines reduce the progression of the disease and manage symptoms.
Types of COPD
There are two types of COPD: emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Emphysema is a lung disease with symptoms of abnormal air sacs. Common causes of abnormal air sacs are:
Abnormal air sacs cannot absorb oxygen well. Abnormal alveoli are chronic and cause holes in the lung tissue.
Chronic bronchitis is a persistent swelling of the bronchi in the airways. Viral, bacterial infections or irritation of the lungs cause swelling. Swelling of the bronchi causes an over secretion of mucus. A lot of mucus affects breathing and increases coughing. Asthma is a persistent lung disease.
Asthma causes recurrent episodes of breathing problems. It increases mucus production, narrows the airways, and causes swelling.
Stages of COPD
There are four stages of COPD:
Mild, i.e., the stage with low risk and few symptoms.
Moderate phase with low risk and many symptoms.
Severe is a high-risk category with few symptoms.
More severe is a high-risk category with many symptoms.
Causes of COPD
The leading cause of COPD is exposure to smoke. Smoke contributes to 85 to 90% of all COPD cases. Exposure to smoke is due to smoking or other forms of smoke. Other causes include:
- Contact with chemicals, vapors, and other irritants in the lungs.
- Genetic causes. Deficiency of AAT contributes to lung and liver damage. Alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AAT) is inborn.
Risk factors for COPD
- Family history of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.
- Contact with chemicals Dust and vapors in the workplace
- Exposure to secondhand smoke like smoke from burning fuels
- Long duration of tobacco smoking.
- People who had recurrent breathing infections at a young age.
Symptoms of COPD
- Whistles in the chest,
- Persistent cough with mucus or dry cough
- Feeling exhausted every time
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest stiffness
- Inflamed feet, legs, and ankles
- Regular breathing system infections.
- Weight loss
- Gray fingernails
Diagnosis of COPD
Diagnosis includes a patient's medical history. It determines whether a patient is exposing themselves to irritants. Tests accompany the medical record. The most common is spirometry. It measures the airflow in the lungs. It determines the air you can hold and the speed at which you exhale. Other procedures are:
- Chest x-rays,
- CT scans,
- Arterial blood gas test. This test determines the oxygen in the flow. It determines the carbon dioxide in the outflow.
- Lab tests eliminate diseases causing an AAT deficiency.
Treatment of COPD.
COPD is not curable. Treatment manages symptoms. Treatment also reduces the progression of the disease into its late stages. The therapy combines:
- Lifestyle changes
- Oxygen therapy.
Medicines for COPD
- Lung muscle relaxants. These relaxants have short or prolonged effects. Fast-effect relaxants relieve attacks fast. For a 12-hour or a prolonged effect, long-time effect inhalers apply. The inhalers that are in everyday use are long-time beta-agonists(LABA). Long-acting muscarinic antagonists are in use with (LABA).
- Drugs that slow down swelling in the body and allergic reactions. These medications accompany long-time inhalers.
- Enzyme inhibitors that relax the lung muscles. They facilitate breathing and reduce the swelling of the bronchi.
- Theophylline treats wheezing and difficulty breathing. It relaxes the lung muscles.
- Drugs that treat bacterial infections and antivirals. They treat bacterial and viral breathing system infections.
- Vaccination reduces the rate of breathing system infections. These include:
- Annual flu vaccinations,
- Pneumococcal vaccines,
- Tetanus boosters.
Oxygen therapy is a necessary procedure that adds to the oxygen content in the body. Masks and nasal cannulas release oxygen to the patient.
Surgery applies when other options are not effective. Surgeries include:
- Surgeries that remove abnormal air spaces from the lungs.
- Surgery that reduces the volume of the lungs.
- Lung transplants.
- Valve replacement. These are implants of artificial valves. Artificial valves pump air into healthy lungs and drain air from damaged lungs.
Lifestyle changes These changes include:
- Quitting smoking,
- Avoiding irritants,
- Eating well
- Doing safe exercises.
Difficulties of COPD
- It increases breathing system infections. As COPD progresses, it reduces the action of the body's defense system. This makes it challenging to fight infections. Low immunity results in frequent breathing system infections.
- Heart disease. COPD causes low oxygen levels in the body. Low oxygen in the heart can cause abnormal heartbeat. Low oxygen backs up blood in the lungs. These conditions can cause serious heart problems.
- Pulmonary hypertension. Arteries that transport blood to the lungs have high pressure. Hypertension counteracts the low oxygen in the lungs.
- Lung cancer, COPD results in long-term swelling of the lung cells. This promotes the mutation of the cells that would cause cancer. Cancer arises from clogged airports caused by COPD.
- Depression. COPD symptoms cause anxiety and distress in patients. The reason for this is that it is challenging working in a usual way.
Preventing COPD Difficulties
There are several ways to prevent COPD, including:
- Quit smoking and avoid taking up smoking.
- Avoid irritants by wearing an appropriate PPE. PPE prevents exposure to chemicals and vapors in the workplace.
- Annual flu vaccine and frequent pneumococcal vaccination.
- Seek help when you feel in need to avoid falling into depression.
Living with COPD
The progression of COPD is preventable through a healthy lifestyle. Healthy habits in COPD are:
- Avoid exposure to smoke. COPD patients should avoid direct smoke or secondhand smoke. They should avoid other irritants in the lungs.
- Aerobic exercises. This helps improve blood circulation. They increase the oxygen supply, which improves breathing.
- Adopt appropriate dietary habits. They include:
- A low-carbohydrate diet to reduce carbon dioxide intake. Other healthy options are low-fat diets and high protein content. Fruits and vegetables, healthy fats are suitable. High potassium level foods are also good for patients.
- Frequent cleaning of the house. It is about removing dust, as it is a lung irritant.
- Control of other underlying conditions. Chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes worsen COPD. Management of these conditions reduces the rate of progression of COPD.
- Keeping emergency call contacts.
- Note the medications you are taking and the exact doses.
- Frequent visits to the doctor for checkups are necessary.
- Proper intake of medication is crucial.
- Seek counseling for emotional support.
COPD affects a patient's breathing system. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two types of COPD. COPD has four stages: mild, moderate, severe, and more severe. It is not curable but manageable. Management uses, medications, lifestyle changes, surgery, and Oxygen therapy. It is essential to treat the underlying causes of COPD. This delays the disease's progression.