Everyone has heard of asthma and COPD. They are both respiratory diseases. What many people don’t know is that there is indeed a difference between the two
Asthma is Greek and means shortness of breath, panting, shortness of breath. It is a chronic inflammation of the airways. This makes the airways very sensitive and often responds to specific stimuli. Specific stimuli include cigarette smoke, perfume, exhaust fumes, fog, paint odor, etc. When the patient is exposed to these stimuli, the airways narrow. This may be due to contraction of the airway muscles, swelling of the airway wall or excessive mucus formation. The patient experiences coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and sputum. The asthmatic may also be allergic, meaning he/she also reacts to specific stimuli, such as grass pollen, pet hair, dust mites and fungi. The severity of asthma varies by age and over time. Children and the elderly are more affected by it. Patients are also more sensitive in the morning and evening. In addition to normal and allergic asthma, we also have exercise-induced asthma, nocturnal asthma and occupational asthma. The condition is partly hereditary and is easy to treat.
COPD stands for ‘Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease’. COPD is a collective name for chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The patient has an inflammation in the broncholi, which causes them to become enlarged. This enlargement and swelling of the mucous membranes causes excessive mucus to be produced. Too much mucus causes narrowing of the airways. In emphysema, the alveoli lose their elasticity and firmness because they are damaged. The alveoli are connected to the broncholi and keep the airways open. Damage causes them to collapse and reduce air circulation, causing the patient to feel short of breath. COPD is usually caused by smoking and is chronic. Unfortunately, this condition worsens with age and life expectancy decreases. Even with optimal treatment, lung function is reduced.
It is clear that COPD is caused by external factors. The lungs are often damaged by excessive smoking. Of course, this does not always have to be the case. People who have worked in chemical smells or dusty spaces for years can also suffer from this. Asthma, however, is already in the system. Because Asthma has a reaction and nothing else is damaged, it is easier to treat and its lifespan is just like any other. Unfortunately, this does not apply to COPD, because everything is broken in the lungs that can no longer be repaired, and patients will always suffer from this. This condition mainly occurs in people over 40 years old. Asthma occurs at all ages, but mainly manifests itself at a young age.