Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is known as COPD. People with this condition have chronically constricted airways, which leads to chronic respiratory symptoms such as breathlessness, coughing and mucus.
People with COPD are often fatigued and have difficulty with physical activities. COPD is not only a lung problem, it is usually accompanied by many other chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Bronchitis and emphysema
COPD symptoms are caused by two different lung diseases. With chronic or acute bronchitis, the airways are always irritated and inflamed. It creates a build-up of mucus, which makes breathing very difficult. In pulmonary emphysema, the alveoli are essentially destroyed. Oxygen is absorbed into the body through the alveoli and expels carbon dioxide. The fewer alveoli, the harder it is to breathe.
Smoking is the cause of more than 80 percent of COPD cases. Other causes that contribute to COPD are exposure to noxious particles and gases such as: second-hand smoke, wood dust, glue, paint vapours or air pollution caused by fine dust. COPD can also be hereditary.
Lung attacks or flare-ups
A major problem of COPD is when it causes attacks or flare-ups. These are periods of a sudden increase in respiratory symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, cough and discoloured mucus. These episodes are usually caused by respiratory infections.
Lung attacks can lead to a rapid decreased quality of life and lung function for people with COPD. If there are more than two attacks in a year or if they result in hospitalisation, an intensive approach is needed to prevent future attacks.
Customised treatment plans
Nearly 600,000 people suffer from COPD in the Netherlands alone. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition. At Ciro we treat patients who have moderate to severe COPD. They are very burdened by the disease despite receiving maximum drug therapy and are forced to change their lifestyles. Patients with frequent lung attacks are our main target group at Ciro.
To treat patients as successfully as possible, we create specialised treatment plans for each patient so they get the best care to suit their needs.