5 MYTHS OF COPD – MYTH # 3

By William for wheezingaway.com

(ALWAYS REMEMBER – A person without good breathing, is a person with a life of constant caution’, so let us do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can. – William)

As I continue my own walk-through life with a chronic illness (or two), I continue working with the belief that those who have a constant battle with any chronic illness should always be on the mindset that educating themselves will never end!

As for me, I battle severe Asthma, Stage III COPD, Fatigue, Depression, and a Chronic Heart Condition. Each of which provide a need for different ranges of reading and educating so that I will know what my battle is and how that battle may play out in my life depending on the knowledge and skill level that I design to fight or work with each of my own chronic illness situation.

As I continue to educate myself, I also write so that I can help educate others as well.

Today we look at the Chronic Illness of COPD by giving you part one (3) of a five (5) part series on ‘The Myths of COPD’.

(A note – much of the information shared in this series ‘The 5 Myths of COPD’ came from an article written by Beth W. Orenstein and was reviewed by Niya Jones, MD, MPH.)

With COPD now being considered the third leading cause of death in the United States and with more than 12 million Americans having COPD, Asthma, Emphysema or Chronic Bronchitis – it is surprising that most people still do not seem to know much about the disease and those that do seem to have many misconceptions according to a statement once made by Sandra Adams, MD, MS, a pulmonologist in San Antonio.

COPD MYTH # 3: “COPD IS THE SAME AS ASTHMA”

Despite how many of my postings refer to COPD and Asthma, and while they both are inflammatory type conditions causing coughing and wheezing – Asthma and COPD are very much different diseases, though studies show that approximately 15% of those people can have both Asthma and COPD, with this writer being one of those.

Though asthma can develop at any age, most people with asthma start noticing it as children or teens whereas COPD slowly develops over time and normally is not noticeable by symptoms until individuals are 40 years old or older.

As a person becomes exposed to allergens such as dust, pollen or pet dander, it is then that asthma symptoms may appear, and those folks will by symptom-free in the time-period between each asthma attacks. In other words, an asthma attack is most often brought on by something that irritates the persons lungs.

People with COPD will experience flare ups or what is called exacerbations when they get a cold, an upper respiratory infection or exposure to smoke and/or other lung irritants known to some as triggers.

The treatment difference between Asthma and COPD are similar in use of inhalers, though asthma’s treatment is more with long-term medicines to help reduce airway inflammation with quick-relief or rescue bronchodilators as needed for symptoms of wheezing while those diagnosed with COPD need to be on long-lasting inhalers as opposed to rescue medications.

The important thing is for people having difficulties with breathing on a consistent basis is that they get a direct and proper diagnosis by their physician and/or a pulmonologist.

Remember that it can seem to be a fine line between having Asthma and having COPD, that is why it is important to get diagnosed and then follow the routine of medications prescribed by your physician and/or pulmonologist.

QUESTIONS OF REFLECTIONS:

  • If you have been diagnosed with both Asthma and COPD, what has your pulmonologist done in laying the groundwork for treatment?
  • Which, in your opinion, affects your daily life more and how long have you been diagnosed with each, as well as both together?

If you would like to reflect on our question(s), you can voice your response in the comment section of this post or email your response to wheezingaway@gmail.com.  

SOMETHING WE ALWAYS STRESS – If you have a chronic illness and/or disease, then you must always stay attuned and alert to any and all new or previous knowledge that will offer any glimpses of hope and faith of getting through one’s own battles with that chronic illness and/or disease.

AS ALWAYS (Because I fight COPD) – If you or anyone you know may have any symptoms involving lung and breathing issues or functionality, and those symptoms linger over and over while disrupting your daily living, then please start asking questions and get it checked out with your regular physician or a pulmonologist!

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

Good Day.

NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving descriptions and highlights of various aspects of living with a chronic illness and/or disease, and in no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical advice. If you have questions about what we have posted, then ask your physician and/or medical specialist about it.

 (Copyright@2021, CrossDove Writer through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)