COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a respiratory condition that worsens with time. This disease is mainly caused by noxious particles or gas, most commonly from tobacco smoking, which triggers an abnormal inflammatory response in the lung. A person with this condition suffers from difficulty of breathing that may lead to life threatening complications. COPD encompasses two major diseases that have implications on the fate of the sufferer. This pair of co-existing diseases are chronic bronchitis and emphysema which leads to the limitation of the flow of air to and from the lungs. In a progressive disease such as this, COPD life expectancy might be a big deal to the patients as well as their significant others. There is no definite time on the when a person will die after having this disease but there are few factors that will lead to the worsening or the improvement of the condition.
The diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease should be considered for anyone who has dyspnea or shortness of breath, chronic cough or sputum production, and/or a history of exposure to risk factors for the disease such as regular tobacco smoking and occupational exposures. No single symptom or sign can adequately confirm or exclude the diagnosis of COPD, although COPD is uncommon under the age of 40 years.
To better understand this condition, let us explain how this disease progress in a sufferer’s body. In a person with emphysema, the alveoli or the tiny air sacs are impaired causing its walls to collapse and eventually decrease the lung’s ability to facilitate proper gas exchange. On the other hand, for a patient with chronic bronchitis, the walls of the airway becomes rigid and thick with very high levels of mucus in the bronchial tubes and bronchioles. Both diseases affects the respiratory system severely and is one of the major concerns for COPD life expectancy.
While COPD can’t be cured, understanding the prognosis of a disease will help a lot in improving the condition of the person. Looking into person’s weight (very low weight is bad in this case), the distance walked in six minutes, and the degree of shortness of breath with activities are called the BODE index which can be used to provide information on prognosis for one-year, two-year, and four-year survival.
For a person wondering about their COPD life expectancy, lifestyle modification such as smoking cessation in this matter is essential to the favorable prognosis of the disease. Oxygen therapy has been shown to improve survival if a patient has low oxygen levels. Pulmonary rehabilitation, while not shown to improve survival overall, does dramatically improve activity tolerance and, therefore, quality of life. Improving symptoms and preventing complications are the best thing we can do in this case. If the patient religiously comply with good and healthy lifestyle, it will significantly affect its life expectancy and it will help improve their condition and increase their functionality.