Hyderabad, Nov 20: Wockhardt Hospitals Consultant Pulmonologist Vyakarnam Nageshwar stressed the need for more awareness among the people on the deadly Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD).
Addressing a press conference here, he said though COPD was a devastating lung disease that affects millions of people worldwide, one could recover to some extent and be more active with early diagnosis and effective treatment.
He said COPD was a condition in which the airways become narrow and are blocked with secretions. Over a period of time, the lung tissue gets permanently damaged. Early symptoms of COPD include coughing, bringing up sputum and getting out of breath during exercise or exertion.
Dr Nageshwar said COPD was largely caused by cigarette smoking, while other types of tobacco smokes were also strong risk factors.
According to the Indian National Family Health Survey, many associate smoking with lung cancer and heart disease. But very few people are aware that smoking causes 80 per cent of COPD cases.
Other causes for the disease, include heavy exposure to dust at work, chemicals and air pollution, both indoors and outdoors.
He said the journal of the Association of Physicians of India reported that 65 million Indians suffer from various chronic respiratory diseases, other than tuberculosis. The Indian Journal of Chest Disease and Allied Sciences reported that about 13 million Indians suffer from COPD.