Combining two words–cardio and pulmonary–into one, cardiopulmonary refers to a range of diseases and conditions that affect the heart (cardio) and lungs (pulmonary). These diseases are serious; not mild complications that are easily treatable. At United Energy Workers Healthcare, our experienced team can help you to understand our home healthcare services offered and whether or not you qualify for our free services due to your diagnosis of cardiopulmonary disease. Please reach out to us directly today to learn more.
Common Types of Cardiopulmonary Disease
As stated above, cardiopulmonary disease refers to a range of diseases that affect the heart and the lungs. That being said, there are two common types of cardiopulmonary conditions:
- Cardiovascular disease; and
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD).
Cardiovascular disease, also referred to as heart disease (Mayo Clinic 2018), can refer to any number of diseases that affect the heart, including coronary artery diseases, blood vessel diseases, heart arrhythmia problems, and heart defects. (This list is not inclusive.) While heart disease and cardiovascular disease are terms that are often used interchangeably, the latter usually refers to conditions that involve blocked blood vessels and which can lead to a stroke or heart attack.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder/disease (COPD)
COPD is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that results in the obstruction of airflow through the lungs. The symptoms of this condition include coughing, trouble breathing, and wheezing. While this is not always the case and while causes can vary, the most common cause of COPD is smoking. In addition to COPD, people who smoke long-term are also at risk of developing other conditions, including heart disease and lung cancer.
Who’s Most at Risk for Cardiopulmonary Disease?
Those who live unhealthy lifestyles, have certain genetic conditions, or who smoke are most at risk of developing a cardiopulmonary disease. Things like age (the older you are, the greater your risk), sex (men are at a greater risk than women), family history, smoking, the use of certain cancer drugs and radiation, a poor diet, a lack of exercise, high blood pressure, having high cholesterol, being obese or overweight, stress, and even poor hygiene can all increase your risk of cardiopulmonary disease.
Complications of Cardiopulmonary Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, and COPD
Having an unhealthy heart or lungs can lead to many other complications. To be sure, complications of cardiopulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, and/or COPD might include heart failure, heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, sudden cardiac arrest, peripheral artery disease, lung cancer, respiratory infections, high blood pressure in the lung arteries, and other heart problems. What’s more, COPD specifically is associated with an increased risk of depression, primarily because breathing difficulties can prevent you from living a normal, full life that includes activities you enjoy.
If you are suffering from cardiopulmonary disease, getting the help you need right away is important. This disease and its complications can be fatal.
Treating Cardiopulmonary Disease
If you are suffering from cardiopulmonary disease, one of the first things that your doctor may recommend is the implementation of a healthier lifestyle. This might include stopping smoking, eating better, and exercising on a regular basis. In addition, your doctor may also recommend slightly more aggressive treatment options, such as the use of several different types of medications, different lung therapies (such as oxygen therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation therapy), or even surgery in some cases.
Learning how to cope with your condition and ensuring that both you and your family members get the support you need is another important part of managing a condition like this. Often, this will involve seeking mental health services, such as group- or one-on-one therapies. These therapies become more important if your condition is impacting your quality of life, such as preventing you from doing the things you love, going to work, etc.
Learn About Free Home Healthcare from United Energy Workers Healthcare
If you have been diagnosed with a serious condition like cardiopulmonary disease, you need help. Your doctor may recommend treatment options, like surgery, that are temporarily disabling. During this time, you may require the help of a home health aid. At United Energy Workers Healthcare, we provide free home healthcare per the EEOICPA/RECA program, which is paid for by the United States Department of Labor.
Not all conditions qualify for free home healthcare, but many do. If you think that you have a qualifying condition, please call our team directly or send us a message online to learn about our free home healthcare services and how we can be of assistance. We are passionate about helping patients who truly need our services.
Mayo Clinic. (2018, March 22). Heart disease. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353118