Copd Asthma Essay

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1 Renee Klein July 2010 Ananda Seva 300-Hour Yoga Therapy Program RESEARCH PAPER COPD & Asthma Introduction Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe several lung diseases including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. “Obstruction” in COPD means that the flow of air in and out of the lungs is less than ideal, meaning less oxygen gets into the body tissues and it becomes harder to get rid of carbon dioxide (waste gas). With chronic bronchitis the lining of the breathing tubes (bronchi) are swollen and produce mucus that is coughed up. With emphysema the walls of the air sacs in the lung are broken down and the air spaces get larger and air gets trapped. Some people have both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S. and causes serious long-term disability. There is no cure for COPD. More than 12 million people have COPD and up to 24 million may have the disease but not know it. Smoking, air pollution and on-the-job fumes and dust are the primary causes. Asthma is a similar/related lung disease for which there is no cure. It affects nearly 23 million Americans (about 3 percent), including 7 million children, or about one in 10. With asthma, the airways are often swollen and red (or inflamed), making them sensitive to environmental "triggers” such as the weather, dust, chemicals, smoke and pet dander. When an attack occurs, the muscles surrounding the airways become tight and the lining of the air passages swell. This reduces the amount of air that can pass by, and can lead to wheezing sounds. Sometimes, people have asthma when they are very young and as their lungs develop, the symptoms go away. Asthma tends to run in families, and certain allergies are linked to people who have asthma. Acute asthma attacks are medical emergencies that require

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