What Is COPD Respiratory Failure?
COPD respiratory failure is essentially an event that causes the lungs to “fail” to perform properly due to a COPD, or a chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease. What happens in a respiratory failure is that the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide within the lungs doesn’t actually happen as it should because of some sort of blockage.
This blockage limits your capacity to breathe, reducing the amount of oxygen in both the lungs and blood while increasing the amount carbon dioxide in your system.
A chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease is basically a lung disease that is often caused by smoking. Within this particular categorization of diseases, COPD is made up of two basic conditions: emphysema and chronic bronchitis (which shouldn’t to be confused with “regular” bronchitis). Emphysema is ultimately a medical condition affecting alveoli.
As time goes by, these tiny air sacs become damaged and unable to take in the air as normal, prompting a shortness of breath and lack of oxygen in the body.
Chronic bronchitis is a condition of the bronchial tubes where the airways become irritated and inflamed, narrowing or even blocking the passage of air and again causing a lack of oxygen in the body.
If a COPD, like emphysema or chronic bronchitis, is left untreated, it can eventually lead to respiratory failure. This is due to the progressive nature of these types of disease.
Though your respiratory system, as well as other systems of the body, is fairly resilient, the damage that occurs to the lungs and bronchial tubes with these conditions is actually not reversible, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Proper treatment involves managing and preventing additional damage to these organs so that respiratory failure doesn’t take place.
When you are suffering from a chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease, you’ll generally begin to experience certain signs and symptoms of the condition well before respiratory failure takes place.
These include a shortness of breath, a tightness in the chest, an increased frequency of respiratory infections, wheezing and coughing.
COPD is usually caused by smoking, making it one of the most preventable diseases today. However, there are other reasons why a person might develop chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease.
These include secondhand smoke, toxic gases, air pollution and even other conditions, like gastroesophageal reflux, which can cause stomach acids to invade your esophagus and prompt an inflammation and irritation of the bronchial tubes.
Diagnosis of COPD will more than likely bring about certain recommendations from medical professionals on treatment options. First and foremost, your doctor will ask that you quit smoking, lessening the potential of further damage.
From there, he may prescribe a prescription medication, like bronchodilators, steroids or antibiotics, to reduce the inflammation or even surgery to remove those areas of damage that could prompt a respiratory failure.