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What are the Causes and Risks of COPD in Smokers and Non-Smokers?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, is a chronic lung disease that restricts airflow from the lungs.

While individuals who are regular tobacco users are much more likely to develop COPD, non-smokers can also be at risk for contracting this dangerous disease. Whether it’s via second-hand smoke or harmful fumes circulating throughout your home, the condition of your lungs can weaken over time without you even noticing. Naturally, you want to do everything you can to position yourself for a long, fulfilling life. Your lungs are instrumental to your overall health and knowing the causes of airway obstruction and lung disease can truly mean the difference between life and death. Learn more about what causes COPD and how it can affect you and your loved ones if not treated properly.

How Tobacco Factors In

It’s practically common knowledge that smoking tobacco regularly can have an abundance of negative effects on your overall health. Naturally, your lungs become less efficient and more unstable the more they’re exposed to tobacco smoke. The immediate effects of tobacco smoking can range from asthma and constant coughing, which may seem mild when compared to the lasting damage it can cause down the road. In short, smoking damages the cells that line your lungs. As smoke travels into your lungs, carrying plenty of cancer-causing substances, your lung tissue will begin to change almost immediately after being exposed. Not only does smoking make it harder for you to be active, breathe regularly, and live addiction-free, but it also can put you at risk for a number of potentially fatal diseases, including lung disease, pneumonia, emphysema, and COPD.

If you’ve been thinking, “Can non-smokers get COPD?”, the answer is yes. What causes COPD in non-smokers can be environmental or personal issues, including air pollution, secondhand smoke, and regular exposure to harmful fumes. So whether you’ve smoked all your life or have never touched a cigarette, you have the potential to develop COPD, making the need to know the causes of COPD all the more important.

Major Risk Factors

COPD in smokers and COPD in non-smokers may vary in terms of symptoms, progression, and treatment. There are four stages of COPD. Your airflow becomes more and more restricted as you move towards the final stage of COPD, making early treatment all the more important. Major risk factors for COPD include inhaling and/or exposure to tobacco smoke, having asthma and smoking, and occupational exposures to dust, harmful chemicals, or fumes. Age and genetics also play a role.

Based off these risk factors, you may feel like COPD development may be out of your hands. However, there are many steps you can take in order to greatly diminish your chances of developing COPD. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, try to quit. If your job requires you to be exposed to harmful fumes and toxins, wear a protective mask that lessens your exposure. Staying in good shape, eating healthy, and learning self-care techniques that focus on keeping your lungs strong and healthy are all effective ways to combat COPD from developing in the first place.

How COPD Can Affect You and Your Loved Ones

The stages of COPD symptoms range from mild to severe. A common symptom associated with COPD is Barrel Chest, which results in you having a rounded, bulging chest that could indicate an underlying disease forming. Whether you’re someone who’s suffering from COPD or know someone who is, you’ll likely have to get used to the changes that inevitably follow a COPD diagnosis. While COPD isn’t curable, it can be treated in order to help a loved one have the best possible life. Watching someone you love go through the stages of COPD can be frustrating, saddening, and confusing. You should know that support groups are available to those who wish to discuss these feelings and emotions regarding COPD. The physical toll this chronic lung disease takes on an individual can be brutal, so the love and support of family and friends is incredibly important towards helping the diagnosed individual stay strong.

COPD diagnoses often occur well after the disease is advanced and has spread, so equipping yourself with knowledge regarding the causes and risk factors associated with COPD will greatly improve your chances of staying healthy and happy. Simply living a health-conscious lifestyle that avoids tobacco and other harmful fumes could make all the difference down the road.

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Client Reviews

24 Hour Home Care review summary

Reviewer: Patricia
Patricia 2020-09-18 via Google
I like working for 24hr home care because they allow me to have a flexible schedule and I can take advantage of how far away from home I'd like to travel for work.
Reviewer: Liliana D
Liliana D 2020-09-18 via Google
Improving getting better and better really listen to our voice send us a recognition letter congratulating us as frontline workers, send us a little gift for our performance, send us an gift certificate from amazon for school supplies pack of $30 dollars for our children looking forward for more improvements feels good to be recognize as a great frontline worker helps us get more motivated afterall thats going on. Ive never got anything or a congratulations from them ever its the first time in the 3 years ive work with them and today they call me to say happy bday i feel special. Thank you 24hr homecare
Reviewer: Tatyana
Tatyana 2020-09-18 via Google
Pros: It’s nice working here. With this agency, you have a very flexible schedule. There are a lot of 4-5 hour shifts, although they do offer overnight shifts as well from 8 hours, maybe 12. You can qualify for employee benefits after 1 year of working here. They have “emergency rate” wages as well, these are last minute shifts that can raise from $1-5 an hour; if they hired you at $14hr and they give you an (e-rate) emergency rate then it’ll probably be from $15, $16, $17+ depending on the case. Traveling is required and they did have a virtual interview with me. They have employees working 24 hours if you decide to call them. They use the CC-Go app to clock in and clock out. They also give you a link to a corporate perks website that will give you discounts on phones, plane tickets, hotels ect. Cons: Communication with the office/managers can be difficult at times because when you call, anyone/random person can answer. My personal recommendation as a company request for employee(s): Sending each caregiver a “care package” in a ziplock bag with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, ect. in case a facility or client doesn’t have the supplies needed. Having these “care packages” would help the company prevent any further sicknesses when dealing with urination and bowel movements if anything were to happen.
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Highly recommend!
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Great, award-winning company!
Reviewer: Samantha
Samantha 2020-09-13 via Google
Great company! Highly recommend.
Reviewer: CAROL
CAROL 2020-08-01 via Google
Reviewer: Laura
Laura 2020-06-12 via Google
Our care givers are loving, friendly and devoted. They are family! Thank you for being here for us.
Reviewer: Richard
Richard 2020-06-09 via Google
Our Care-giver Mudrakat is a blessing for us, with a big heart, and a very professional approach and skills - she will go far...
Reviewer: Raul
Raul 2020-05-28 via Google
Great place to work for!

The Most Trusted Caregivers

The success of our clients and company is entirely dependent on the quality of our caregivers. We make certain to find and provide our senior clients with the industry's best caretakers so that they have a positive in-home care experience. We submit all of our caregivers through nationwide background checks, assessment tests, and verify multiple references. All of our caregivers are required to be compassionate, reliable, experienced, and above all else, TRUSTWORTHY. We understand that you are entrusting your loved one's home and well-being with our company, and we take that very seriously.

24 Hour Home Care® is committed to improving the lives of our senior clients. By assisting seniors with their daily living activities, we are able to keep them at home where they are comfortable and allow them to thrive during this chapter of their lives. Not only do we strive to exceed customer satisfaction, but we strive to exceed employee satisfaction. We want all of our caregivers to be proud and happy to work for 24 Hour Home Care® so that they will provide the best senior home care possible!


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