When you have a disability or chronic illness, one of the most important things you can do is to learn as much as you can about it.  The more you know, the easier it should be to get a handle on those days when you feel like it is a constant battle and you are not sure you are winning.

Knowing the language or words that go with COPD/Asthma is a great way to start or to continue to refresh a person’s knowledge of the ins and outs of the lifelong health companion which we are dealing with.

With that, we discuss some of what we call ‘must know words’ of life with COPD/Asthma – and today we actually use a two-word phrase in discussing ‘Gas Exchange’.

‘Gas Exchange’ is that process of exchanging oxygen for carbon dioxide in a persons blood.  This exchange of gases takes place through the very thin walls of the alveoli when oxygen is passed from the lungs to the blood system while in return carbon dioxide is taken into the lungs to be expelled from a person’s body.

As we have discussed previously, the ‘alveoli’ while great in numbers are yet so small and so very important in the ‘gas exchange’ of the incoming oxygen to work in the blood system and the much-needed removal of carbon dioxide out of the human system.

If and/or when your ‘alveoli’ begin/or do not perform as they should, you will at times during that ‘gas exchange’ process get air trapped within your ‘alveoli’ which will make it harder for a person to exhale the air taken in and the ‘gas exchange’ of getting the carbon dioxide out.  When this begins to happen a person may feel a full or tightness in their chest.

A medical test used for checking your lungs ability to make this vital ‘gas exchange’ is called a ‘Diffusion Capacity Test’ which measures how much carbon monoxide remains in the air you exhale, a low diffusion capacity is what helps indicate the presence of and severity of a variety of lung diseases.

While administered oxygen will help in the amount of oxygen a person may get it does not necessarily help in getting the ‘carbon dioxide’ out.  In extreme emergency situations a person will be given the option of ‘intubation’ in which a tube is placed in the windpipe to help that person with their ‘gas exchange’ and reduce the labor or work needed in breathing.

In your own individual battle with COPD and/or asthma, be sure to learn and understand the words of importance in understanding what is going on within these battles – today that word of importance is ‘Gas Exchange’ – know and understand how ‘Gas Exchange’ can affect your COPD/Asthma.

As always – if you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

NOTE TO REMEMBER: We only give descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer and more medical founded information.

Remember – ‘a person without good breathing, is a person without a good life’, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.

With that I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2017, CrossDove Writer, reprinting or reuse of this article is restricted without written permission.)

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(Information gathered from various books and internet sources discussing COPD, Asthma and other lung diseases)