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can anyone tell me about COPD please - Carers UK Forum

can anyone tell me about COPD please

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My mum has mainly has heart frailer and has a heart nurse come around, but mum has COPD and i know what it stands for a roughly what it is and its to do will the air ways and lungs, but apart from having oxygen, is there anything else i can do, she seems be worse in the evening is that normal? she seems bad at the moment is it to do with the weather?
Hi Helen, it's amazing how people will tell you it's COPD (or whatever condition) and then leave you to it. In this day and age you'd think they'd give you a clue what to expect!

It's not something I've much experience of, but I believe changes in weather can cause problems for people with lung conditions, especially COPD.

Have you heard of the British Lung Foundation? They have a useful website at: http://www.lunguk.org/

The site has information about lung disease, treatment, and local "Breathe Easy" groups where you might be able to get support.
Hi Helen,
My Dad had COPD.
The weather did affect his breathing, too cold and it would take his breath away, too hot and he said he felt tight.
He was always worse at night, we were advised to always keep a window open slightly to allow fresh air in as humdity is always greater at night.
At first Dad went to a special therapy session to show him breathing teqniques, and he was prescribed inhalers.
He did need constant oxygen as it got worse.
Best wishes
COPD is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. It is caused by damage to the lungs over many years, usually from smoking.

COPD is often a mix of two diseases:
Chronic bronchitis . In chronic bronchitis, the airways that carry air to the lungs (bronchial tubes ) get inflamed and make a lot of mucus. This can narrow or block the airways, making it hard for you to breathe.
Emphysema . In a healthy person, the tiny air sacs in the lungs are like balloons. As you breathe in and out, they get bigger and smaller to move air through your lungs. But with emphysema, these air sacs are damaged and lose their stretch. Less air gets in and out of the lungs, which makes you feel short of breath.

COPD gets worse over time. You can't undo the damage to your lungs. But you can take steps to prevent more damage and to feel better.

What causes COPD?

COPD is almost always caused by smoking. Over time, breathing tobacco smoke irritates the airways and destroys the stretchy fibers in the lungs.

Other things that may put you at risk include breathing chemical fumes, dust, or air pollution over a long period of time. Secondhand smoke is also bad.

It usually takes many years for the lung damage to start causing symptoms, so COPD is most common in people who are older than 60.

You may be more likely to get COPD if you had a lot of serious lung infections when you were a child. People who get emphysema in their 30s or 40s may have a disorder that runs in families, called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. But this is rare.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms are:
A long-lasting (chronic) cough.
Mucus that comes up when you cough.
Shortness of breath that gets worse when you exercise.

As COPD gets worse, you may be short of breath even when you do simple things like get dressed or fix a meal. It gets harder to eat or exercise, and breathing takes much more energy. People often lose weight and get weaker.

At times, your symptoms may suddenly flare up and get much worse. This is called a COPD exacerbation . An exacerbation can range from mild to life-threatening. The longer you have COPD, the more severe these flare-ups will be.

How is COPD diagnosed?

To find out if you have COPD, a doctor will:
Do a physical exam and listen to your lungs.
Ask you questions about your past health and whether you smoke or have been exposed to other things that can irritate your lungs.
Have you do breathing tests, including spirometry, to find out how well your lungs work.
Do chest X-rays and other tests to help rule out other problems that could be causing your symptoms.

My mother a none smoker was during WW2 on the anti aircraft heavy ack ack in London over many years she inhaled the fumes from the guns and during the bombing of the Guards chapel she was trapped for over 40 hours and was subjected to inhalattion of cordite and other explosive fumes this resulted in the total damage of one lung and over the next year had many in patient admissions to hospital with chest infections pneumonia but did return to duty after 3/4 sick leave episodes ..it has not been proved as yet but many people with C.O.P.D. often develop lung cancer which may have been due to smoking but as my mother was a none smoker the consultant has said her 4 cm cancer in her good lung was probably due to the inhalattion of explosive fumes during WW2 ..pleased to say she has had stereo tactic radiotherapy treatment at Leeds over a 3 week period and looks as though she is all clear will find out in July if she is aokay ....
Thank you everyone for all your help, i feel much more informed now, and i am the type of person who need to know what i'm dealing with, thank you again, x
Hi Helen ,
I am carer to my hubby who has COPD. His breathlessness is very bad in the morning when he wakes up and in the evenings just after 5pm ish and the rest of the night. He is on a nebuliser with 2 types of liquid medications to put in it and also an inhaler. He is just waiting on the go-ahead- for oxygen. He is at the respitory clinic next week - He is 60yrs old this year and has had COPD (diagnosed) since 2005 - so 7 yrs. I have been his full time carer since 2008 when he became more seriously ill.
He had been a smoker all his life, however I am glad to say that he eventually stopped smoking last year. It has been very difficult for him.

hope this helps
mags x