Among the many issues that affect men’s health is chronic lower respiratory diseases. Men who smoke have been shown to increase their risk of death from this illness by 12 %. The most deadly chronic lower respiratory disease is COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. There are two main illnesses that are a result of COPD, Bronchitis, and Emphysema.
If you have chronic Bronchitis, the lining of the airways in the lungs are red and swollen. As time passes these airways become narrow, and fill with mucus that cannot be cleared out. With Emphysema, some of the air sacs in the lungs are damaged, and it makes it hard to get enough oxygen when you breath. Smoking is a major cause of both Bronchitis and Emphysema.
My wife’s grandmother was diagnosed with COPD, from Emphysema,and put on oxygen. At times she had to be hospitalized and receive breathing treatments. These included the steroid Prednisone, which raised her blood sugar and caused her face to swell.
I remember her oxygen being on level 2 and over time raised to 5. My wife asked the doctor point blank what would happen when the oxygen was turned up to the highest level and grandma could not breath. The answer was that she would die.
There are 3 ways to avoid COPD. The first is Don’t smoke, and if you do quit. Grandma had not smoked a cigarette for 30 years, yet was diagnosed with this illness. The second is to avoid secondhand smoke. The third is to avoid irritants such as air pollution, dust and chemical fumes, that may contribute to this disease.
Medical experts believe that lung d amage from COPD cannot be repaired. If the disease is caught early it may possibly be slowed down. Your health care provider can give you a test for COPD if you have symptoms such as tightness in the chest, a cough that won’t go away, or shortness of breath.
Statistics indicate that 20% of smokers are diagnosed with COPD. My mother lived for 22.years after she stopped smoking and did not have Bronchitis or Emphysema as did my wife’s grandmother. If you are a man who smokes, the best thing to do is stop and reduce your risk of lower respiratory diseases.