Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease commonly referred to as the smoker's disease. However, there are instances where a person can be diagnosed with COPD even though he/she has not smoked a cigarette a day in his/her life. Statistically, 80 to 90 percent of people with COPD did smoke at some point in time in their life. However, that leaves 10 to 20 percent of COPD patients who didn't.
What Is COPD?
COPD is a very common disease for those who currently smoke cigarettes on a regular basis or smoked in the past for a lengthy time. For the lungs to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, the lungs have to be flexible enough to contract. When someone has COPD, the lungs lose their ability to open and close. This means only air will enter the lungs or air will only exit the person's lungs instead of both.
Only getting air creates a problem because as much as the human needs oxygen in order to function, the human body also needs to expel carbon dioxide as well. Not having a balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide can cause COPD patients to turn blue, pass out, or – in some cases – die. Unfortunately, there are many things that can cause this disease to occur in someone who is perfectly healthy.
What Causes Non Smokers to Have COPD?
COPD that occurs in people who do not smoke usually have developed the disease from environmental factors or genetic characteristics. Once the person is diagnosed with the disease, the physician at the health clinic will run genetic testing to see if that is the reason for the diagnosis. Some examples of environmental factors causing the disease include exhaust from vehicles and hazardous material production such as coal mining or building materials.
Breathing in small quantities of toxic chemicals and byproducts over many years can cause irreversible damage to your lungs. Usually when the diagnosis is considered to be genetic, it is because there is a protein deficiency to blame. Medications can be prescribed by the person's physician to help get these levels back to where they need to be.
Most people are unaware of the fact that at least ten percent of COPD patients have never smoked a cigarette in their entire life. By being more aware of your chances of developing COPD, you can make better choices in your life to avoid breathing in harmful chemicals and to get tested to make sure you aren't genetically at risk.Share
2 September 2016
A few years ago, I experienced a huge health scare with my blood pressure. My doctor at the time didn't offer evening or late night care, which forced me to visit the local emergency room for help. Although it may seem like a small thing to some people, not having access to my doctor when I needed it really bothered me. It bothered me so much that I searched for a new doctor after my child was born. Now, I'm happy with my family's new physician. The doctor offers after-hour care, which is a wonderful thing for us. My blog offers tips on how to find the right doctor for your family, as well as many other services you might need one day. So, please read through the blog for the information you need now.