How does Smoking Produce COPD?

In this article, we are going to talk about one of the fastest growing ailments of today’s era- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the promoter of this disease is also a highly common factor- smoking. There is a straight and reasonable connection between these two entities, or call them a curse.

Smoking is preventable, but COPD is irreversible. It makes the lung function deteriorate day by day, reducing its elasticity and making it less expandable in response to the filling air. As a consequence, lesser amount of oxygen reaches your blood, and hence, the body organs obtain lesser oxygen than what is required.

Categories of COPD

COPD involves two important pathological phenomena- chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Chronic bronchitis relates to a condition where the mucosal lining of bronchus is irritated and inflamed, resulting is excessive coughing and retaining of mucus. Emphysema is said to happen when the air sacs of lungs have lost their elasticity. Both these conditions have a lot to do with chronic smoking.

Following is explained about how does smoking produce COPD? Passive smokers are also affected however here the impact of smoke on lungs is quite low when compared to the active group.

How does smoking produce COPD?

Cigarette smoke contains all such toxins which are individually so powerful to cause harm to your lungs. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, hydrogen cyanides, along with 60 other toxins are inhaled with each cigarette you burn. These highly potent agents when reach your bronchi, trigger an inflammatory response as they come in contact with the mucosal lining. A series of white blood cell response takes place which send away signals to summon an immune feedback, so as to protect the lungs from damage via toxins. A cascade of enzymes and cytokines is release therefore. In addition to this, excess mucus is produced so that the toxins get trapped into this thick layer and their flow towards the lungs becomes sluggish.

With continuous exposure to cigarette contagions, mucus built up increases. Gradually, the cilia, which are responsible to keep up the constant flow of mucus by their whip movement, fail gradually, and the mucus layer becomes stagnant, narrowing the airway. Stagnant mucus makes a great soil for growth of bacteria, hence adding to the deterioration of condition. The end result of all this process is what we term as ‘chronic bronchitis’.

It has also been studied that as a process of immune response, certain cytokines are released from the inflammatory cells which directly attack on the elastic proteins of the alveoli (air sacs) and hence, make them lose their ability to expand with the incoming air, causing emphysema.

About Author

Mehak Musheer is a health enthusiast who loves to write in the same domain as a freelancer. As well as a health care worker she always produces accurate medical information to readers.
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