Smoking leads to lung cancer - everyone knows that. But smoking also causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which affects around 4 million Germans. On November 15, World COPD Day highlights the unknown disease.
An incurable disease
The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is incurable. Scientists are currently trying to slow them down.
The disease goes through various stages and has a physical and psychological impact. In addition to shortness of breath and shortness of breath, there are fears and depression.
Smokers are at greatest risk of developing COPD. Around a quarter of all smokers probably develop it in their lives, and many do not even know it, but consider their "smoker's cough" to be "normal".
In South America, Asia and Africa, cooking, heating and living around an open fire is also a risk. Another risk is a high level of particulate matter from smog.
Those affected often do not notice the disease for years. The signs are nonspecific, but in their entirety when the knowledge of the disease is clear: coughing up mucus, especially in the morning, and difficulty breathing. This occurs first with physical exertion, later always.
The shortness of breath has psychosocial consequences. Little by little, those affected hardly leave their homes for fear of breathing problems. At some point, they can hardly cope with everyday life or pursue a job.
Common cause of death
Lung diseases often go undetected. COPD is as unknown as it is deadly. In advanced stages, alveoli clear and any infection can now lead to death.
Hand in hand with lung cancer
If COPD has damaged the lungs, lung cancer quickly develops. Comorbidities such as strokes or cardiovascular diseases are also likely.
What to do?
COPD cannot be cured or reversed. Affected people can only try not to aggravate the condition - to avoid any strain on the lungs. You must stay away from dust and avoid infections. Patients should vaccinate themselves extensively. Quitting smoking immediately goes without saying.
Lung exercise is absolutely necessary so that the disease does not get worse. This slowly builds up the muscles, strengthens the condition and resilience. COPD patients with advanced disease exercise in the water.
How does lung sport work?
Pulmonary exercise teaches relaxation techniques, but above all methods to breathe easier. Those affected train their mobility, build muscles, improve their movements and their elasticity. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)