Leading Cause of Death in The USA: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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What is the third leading cause of death in the United States? How about the major cause of disability? Twelve million people are currently diagnosed and twelve million have it without even knowing (Risk factors, 2014). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, best known as COPD, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breath. Most individuals can evade this disease by simply keeping their lungs in vigorous condition. I personally know someone who is currently at the end stage of it; caring for her has given me a lot of knowledge on COPD.
COPD can lead to coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms (what is COPD, 2014). Smoking is the leading cause of this disease;
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Two important value points are measured by: forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). FEV1 shows if a person’s exhalations remain weak for a full second (stages, 2014). Some physicians will analyze cells in mucus or sputum to determine if bacteria is present, abnormal or cancerous (stages, 2014). It seems that COPD has become such an epidemic that technology has made much rapid progress in research in order to detect this disease early; however, a cure has yet to be discovered.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes two main conditions, emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Beginning with emphysema, this condition in which the walls between many of the air sacs are damaged, lose their shape and become unstable. Emphysema causes a decrease in gas exchange concerning the lungs (what is COPD, 2014). Chronic bronchitis is a condition in which the lining of the airways constantly is irritated and inflamed which then triggers the lining to thicken. What directly follows is mucus that is forming mucus making it rather difficult to breathe (what is COPD, 2014).
The signs and symptoms of COPD are very similar to asthma and pneumonia. Wheezing and a whistling sound, is conjured by the excessive mucus build-up that obstructs the airway passage. A chronic cough will develop over time that produces yellow mucus implicating that you have an infection; however, clear mucus is not as alarming (symptoms, 2013). Shortness

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