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What is COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is 1 of the 6 most common chronic diseases affecting Singaporeans according to Healthhub.sg (an initiative by the Ministry of Health and Health Promotion Board)

 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a disease where both lungs are damaged and airways become irreversibly narrowed.

Patients present with breathlessness on exertion that progresses over time. In the end, breathlessness may occur even at rest.

The most common cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. COPD cannot be cured and the damage to the lungs is irreversible.

But symptoms can be controlled and lung damage can be further prevented.

Medications are available that can help treat the symptoms and complications.

Lifestyle changes can also make a significant impact on the progression of the condition.

 

In Singapore, it is likely that more than 60,000 people suffer from it. It is a serious medical condition and is the 10th leading cause of death in Singapore in 2014.

For patients with severe COPD, blood oxygen level may be persistently low. This may result in worsening breathlessness and heart failure.

These patients will benefit from using oxygen for at least 15 hours a day to reduce the symptoms and prolong life.