COPD: When It Strikes You

COPD Will Give You Something To Think About

tha (1)COPD can cause serious issues with one’s ability to breathe, it results from polluted environments which affect the one most important thing we do everyday to survive.

Are ability to breathe is a major lifeline which should be cherished, I wanted to share a story which will probably make you think twice when you pull out your lighter to light up a fresh cigarette stick.

Listen to my sister’s story… 

My sister wasn’t feeling throughout the memorial day weekend, she had to go in to see her doctor after she was telling me how she felt light-headed to the point where she said it felt as if she was about to pass out.

This is nothing new to her, she has been going through this for a while.

She went in a few weeks before after having a few tests ran on her (after the test came back the doctor told her the prognosis which I will discuss very shortly), and she was even prescribed medication which was recommended by her doctor.

But she kept experiencing the light-headedness, and a slight problem with her breathing, so naturally anybody who is demonstrating these particular symptoms would in no doubt be concerned about their immediate condition.  

This is my big sister, the one who always took me everywhere, took me to the arcade, took me out to eat, you name it, those were the days of fun I have to admit 100%. 

Times have changed after 20+ years, she’s older, I’m older, and with that comes the health factors of aging, not to mention how the body will change as well as the state of one’s health.

After her health analysis was completed, the doctor came up with final thoughts about the “light-headed” symptoms she was experiencing for the last few weeks.

He said she has damage to her lungs (nothing serious in which he concluded which was big time relief), which was a result from years of smoking.

She wasn’t surprised to hear this.

thb (1)When she smoked during her late teen years, all the way up into her 30’s. 

She stopped before giving birth to her two children, and never picked up the habit again.

Now fast forward to now, and she sitting in the hospital bed as the doctor is giving her details about her’s lungs health.

He told her even though she broke the habit of smoking, there was still irreversible damage done to her lungs.

th (1)The reason for her breathing difficulties, were believed to be a result of a respiratory disease called bronchitis  (this is a long-term illness) which is a symptom of (COPD)  or “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease”, and can negatively affect the functioning capabilities of the respiratory system over-time. 

Long-term exposure to other lung irritants such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust also may contribute to COPD. 

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Bad work environments is another factor that can lead to COPD, especially areas which are asbestos inhabited, or dirty areas such as machinery caped in dust, if someone were to take a huge breath and blows the dust into the air (it now becomes a harmful pollutant), and someone unknowingly walks by, breathes it in will not be enough to cause COPD, but on a grand scale (from long-term constant exposure) it would be a much different outcome as it raises their changes significantly.

These are all harmful agents which can cause the disease, most people don’t even realize that symptoms in which they develop could take years before they manifest. So basically, it could be classified as a “silent illness” the individual is not even aware of until they already have it, plus the symptoms that are associated with the disease.  

COPD: What Happens As It Progresses

The disease itself may worsen overtime, this is what my sister was going through from the start of this year.

She complained about the light-headedness a few times, and had to stay a day or two overnight at the hospital until they ran tests on her to come up with a hypothesis to map out what stage she was in with her condition.

She was lucky that her doctor was able to catch her symptoms in the early stages of COPD, so all that is needed for her to do is follow the doctor’s orders until she is better.

There where a few things the doctor told her however, and she said “tell me the tale doc, it’s just best to get it out in the open.” 

He told her that the disease will be ever-present, it’s just something smokers ex-smokers,  will have to deal with for the rest of their natural lives.

th (1)He said also this is exactly why he would urge anybody not to smoke (especially for young people who have started or are thinking about starting). 

Another disturbing fact is that the disease may strike even if the individual is NOT an avid smoker.

If her situation was left unchecked, and it had worsened from where it was she would fall into the ‘severe’ category of people who suffer from COPD. 

So for her here on out, performing simple house chores such as washing clothes, or mopping the bathroom floor, will become difficult, and as she ages the condition may worsen which could place her into the advanced stages of the disease (this means that her respiratory systems may barely function if it’s gets to that point.)

The average person after their diagnosis, who had serious lung damage after years of smoking may be left with 10 -20 years of their life expectancy left. What’s even worse is when a person is diagnosed with COPD, every time the disease progress to the next stage(s) it will reduce anywhere from to years off of their life expectancy.

COPD: Substantiating Factors

COPD – can disrupt the airflow which passes into your lungs, damage to the lungs will reduce the amount of air needed to keep functioning systems (such as the brain) from performing efficiently.

Chronic bronchitis – excessive coughing (symptom), and an over-abundance of “mucus production” (manifests from excessive coughing) are caused by inflammation of the airways. This particular chronic illness is long-term, and can plague the individual from months to years at a time.

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Emphysema – is damage to the air sacs, and the small airways in the lungs itself, (also see Interstitial Lung Disease).

Wheezing, excessive coughing, tightness of the chest, shortness of breath, are symptoms related to COPD. People who deal with it on a daily basis vary within their condition, certain days may be better or worse than others.

COPD: Medications / Solutions

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STIOLTO® RESPIMAT® (tiotropium bromide and olodaterol) – Inhalation Spray is a prescription medicine used long term, two puffs once each day, in controlling symptoms in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a chronic lung disease that includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both.

STIOLTO contains the anticholinergic, tiotropium, and the long-acting beta2-adrenergic agonist (LABA), olodaterol. STIOLTO works by helping the muscles around the airways in your lungs stay relaxed to prevent symptoms, such as wheezing, cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

STIOLTO is not for treating sudden symptoms of COPD. Always have a rescue medicine with you to treat sudden symptoms. If you do not have a rescue inhaler, contact your healthcare provider to have one prescribed for you.

(NOTE: Do not use STIOLTO if you have asthma. STIOLTO is approved to treat COPD only.)

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ANORO – is a prescription medicine used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults.

COPD is a chronic lung disease that includes chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or both. ANORO is used long-term as 1 inhalation, 1 time each day, to improve symptoms of COPD for better breathing. ANORO is not used to treat sudden symptoms of COPD and won’t replace a rescue inhaler. ANORO is not for the treatment of asthma.

ANORO ELLIPTA is the first FDA-approved product that contains 2 long-acting bronchodilators in 1 inhaler.

In clinical trials, ANORO ELLIPTA significantly improved lung function more than SPIRIVA® HandiHaler® in people with COPD.

Results shown in 2 of 3 clinical trials. Individual results may vary. SPIRIVA contains 1 long-acting bronchodilator and is used to treat COPD and reduce COPD flare-ups. ANORO is not approved to reduce COPD flare-ups. Each product has its own risks and benefits.

If you have COPD, talk to your doctor to see if ANORO is right for you. ANORO is only approved for use in COPD. ANORO is NOT approved for use in asthma.

People with asthma who take long-acting beta2adrenergic agonist (LABA) medicines, such as vilanterol (one of the medicines in ANORO), have an increased risk of death from asthma problems. It is not known if LABA medicines increase the risk of death in people with COPD. Call your healthcare provider if breathing problems worsen over time while using ANORO.

Get emergency medical care if your breathing problems worsen quickly or if you use your rescue inhaler but it does not relieve your breathing problems.

Do not use ANORO to treat sudden breathing problems. Always have a rescue inhaler with you to treat sudden symptoms.

ANORO is not for the treatment of asthma. It is not known if ANORO is safe, and effective in people with asthma.

  • Do not use ANORO if you have a severe allergy to milk proteins or any of the ingredients in ANORO. Ask your healthcare provider if you are not sure.

  • Do not use ANORO more often than prescribed.

  • Do not take ANORO with other medicines that contain a LABA or an anticholinergic for any reason. Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take and about all of your health conditions. Especially tell your healthcare provider if you take anticholinergics, including tiotropium, ipratropium, aclidinium, or atropine.

ANORO can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Swelling of your face, mouth, and tongue
  • Breathing problems
  • Increased blood pressure
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat, awareness of heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Tremor
  • Nervousness
  • Eye pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing halos or bright colors around lights
  • Red eyes

If you have sudden breathing problems immediately after inhaling your medicine, stop using ANORO and call your healthcare provider right away.

Serious allergic reactions – Call your healthcare provider or get emergency medical care if you get any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction:

  • Effects on heart 
  • Effects on nervous system
  • New or worsened eye problems, including acute narrow-angle glaucoma – An acute narrow-angle glaucoma (disease) can cause permanent loss of vision if not treated. 

If you have these symptoms, call your healthcare provider right away before taking another dose.


  • Urinary retention – People who take ANORO may develop new or worse urinary retention.

Symptoms of urinary retention may include:

  • difficulty urinating
  • painful urination
  • urinating frequently
  • urination in a weak stream or drips

If you have these symptoms of urinary retention, stop taking ANORO and call your healthcare provider right away before taking another dose.

Changes in laboratory blood levels – including high levels of blood sugar (hyperglycemia), and low levels of potassium (hypokalemia).


Common side effects of ANORO include:

  • sore throat
  • sinus infection
  • lower respiratory infection
  • common cold symptoms
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • pain in your arms or legs
  • muscle spasms

Interstitial lung disease (ILD) –or pulmonary fibrosis– refers to more than 200 chronic lung disorders. With ILD, the tissue between the air sacs of the lungs (the interstitium) is affected by inflammation or scarring (fibrosis).

List of disorders from (ILD) are:

  • Chronic
  • Non-malignant (not directly cancerous)
  • Non-infectious (you can’t pass the disease to another person)

Fibrosis causes lung tissue to permanently lose the ability to breathe and carry oxygen. Air sacs, as well as the lung tissue between and surrounding the air sacs, and the lung capillaries, are destroyed by the formation of scar tissue.

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