I answered your other question and gave you a link to the American Lung Association and drugs.com is reviewing it because I sent a link to another website so I wont add the link to this one. Google the American Lung Assoc. they have all kinds of great info on COPD. There is a link to help you review treatments and countless amounts of educational material. There are links and help for smoking cessation too. I think you will find all the info you need on this site. It is a good reputable site with accurate info. I use it for my own patients all the time. Smoking changes the lungs in a few different ways. COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is sometimes known as chronic bronchitis. It is what it says. There have been years of lung changes that caused chronic obstruction which made changes to the lungs and sometimes the heart can be enlarged especially the left ventricle because it has had to work harder to pump blood to the area.
People with asthma often end up with COPD but smokers can too. Normal lungs are nice and spongy and the little pockets fill with air allowing capillaries there to oxygenate the blood. Smoking hardens and scars those sponge like area so they dont fill with air correctly (therefore causing obstruction), over years, this damages the lungs and makes the heart work harder. This is very basic explaination. Please check out the ALA website for more detailed info.
Dear Elma... when a cigarette is inhaled the airways... the bronchioles and the arterioles produce mucous to try to rid the lung airways of this toxic substance inhaled. Over much time the mucous reduction increases greatly. The airways... the bronchioles in particular become stiff and hardened with much mucous. The loss in elasticity of the airways then makes it hard to get air out of the lungs. Basically there is an obstruction to get air out of he lungs, hence this is why COPD has the word "obstruction" in it. It is called Chronic Onstructive Pulmonary Disease... because there is an obstruction to air being exhaled. This happens over a long period of time with smoking. With the obstruction of airflow, carbon dioxide gets trapped in the airways because it is so hard for the lungs to get it out. It is a very complicated process and a deadly disease over time. Our bodies' drive to breathe normally is increased carbon dioxide.
With all the carbon dioxide being trapped do to the obstruction, the body now loses that mechanism to breath and then switches over to low oxygen concentration to initiate breathing. This is why giving a COPD patient too much oxygen can cause them to lose their drive to breathe and a respiratory arrest can occur.
COPD is different from asthma because asthma is considered a restrictive lung disease... l.it is difficult getting air in. I will not go into asthma here because it is also very complex.
I have basically given you a very abbreviated answer to a very complicated disease. Dzoobaby gave you a good website to be able to learn more... more than I could ever tell you here. I have just given you a tiny bit of info to be able to briefly answer your question.
Good luck. I hope this helps... pup
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