Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease is an umbrella disease for lungs. It is common in smokers but people exposed to pollutants on a daily basis also bear its brunt. It is a very serious disease and has affected millions of people. In 20th century, it was called Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, because it causes obstruction in breathing.
The three main diseases that form a part of Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease are chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
Amongst these three Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema are irreversible while Asthma is reversible.
Who is most susceptible to Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease?
It has been found that it takes 30-40 years for the symptoms of Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease to fully develop and become lethal. It is therefore seen mostly in the people of 55 years and above. Historically speaking, men belonging to all ethnicities or races were more prone to Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases than women were. But a new trend emerged after the year 1990 when the number of women affected by the disease drastically increased however the numbers stabilized and even decreased amongst men.
How is Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease diagnosed:
Primarily there are three ways to diagnose it:
- Physical Examination.
- Assessment of lung function.
- Studying the intake history.
But every condition under CLRD has its own specific diagnosis. They include.
- Blood tests.
- Lung function tests.
- Chest X-rays, which are often used to show inflammation in airways.
- Exercise capacity
Some common Symptoms are;
- Chronic coughing (more than three months).
- Shortness in breath for prolonged period.
- Wheezing, tiredness and weightloss.
- Corpulmonale (strain on heart) leading to swelling around ankles.
- In some cases fever due to the infection in lungs etc.
Preventions that can be taken to avoid Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease:
There are many habits that can be inculcated into one’s lifestyle to prevent this disease. They are:
- As mentioned earlier people who smoke are at the highest risk of getting this disease. Quitting smoking will help a lot in preventing the disease. If someone is already suffering from it and taking medication then quitting smoking is highly important to prevent the conditions from further worsening.
- If you do not smoke but you work or live in a polluted environment, try avoiding contact with such an environment. If it is your workplace, then wear a mask. If your home is located in such an area, then install an air purifier in your home.
- Consult your doctor if you experience shortness of breath, pain in breathing, persistent cough and dizziness.
- Be physically active at least for an hour in a day so that the efficiency of lungs could be improved.
- Avoid heavy unctuous diet / indigestion.
- Avoid humidity as it the environment, which affects an individual’s lungs at the earliest.
- If needed get the pneumonia shot under the guidance of your doctor.
- Improvement in dietary and lifestyle habits as per Ayurveda.
- Doing pranayama yoga to strengthen lungpower and improve body metabolism.
- Avoid having high fat materials, excessive oil, curd, Fish and other cold items.
- Increase fluid intake.