Are you a Pink Puffer or a Blue Bloater

Pink Puffer and Blue Bloater are slang. Both terms are a bit coarse and are usually tossed about in the lunch room of medical facilities. No doctor is going to come out and diagnose you will get Blue Bloater disease! COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a class of lung ailments of which Emphysema and Bronchitis are two major players. The blue bloater refers to those suffering from Chronic Bronchitis and the pink puffer is a description of someone suffering from Emphysema.

Pink Puffer VS Blue Bloater

Pink Puffer: Referring to patients who have got the condition primary caused by Emphysema, a person with this condition will develop weight loss as the symptom, and his/her body will appear a puffing reddish complexion while breathing, so it’s called “pink puffer”. In comparison with “blue bloater”, it has a better overall prognosis if treatment is sought early.

Here are signs and symptoms of Emphysema:

1: This disease sneaks up on you and begins with shortness of breath while doing work, that in the past would have not tired you so much.
2: A dry morning cough or a morning cough that produces sputum.
3: Cyanosis (bluing) at the nail beds, around the lips.
4: Work becomes harder and you tire more easily.
5: Your breathing may make a squeaking noise or you may hear your lungs wheezing.
6: As your body works harder and harder to breathe you may grow thin. Your chest muscles will become over developed from working so hard to acquire oxygen. This is described as “barrel-chested”.
7: As with bronchitis, your lungs inability to bring in and exchange enough gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide), will damage your heart.
8: This type of heart damage is seen with swollen ankles, extended jugular veins and a difficulty sleeping while laying flat.
9: Emphysema patients may exhale with their lips pursed together. This helps create back pressure in the lungs and makes more surface area available for gas exchanges.

Blue bloater: Referring to patients who have got the condition of chronic bronchitis. A person with this condition will develop a swollen leg or ankle, and her/his skin and lip will get blue at times. In addition, the patient’s residual volume of lung increases gradually thus we called it “bloating” part.

Here are signs and symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis:

1: Difficulty breathing either at rest or after a short expenditure of energy.
2: The clinical diagnosis of Chronic Bronchitis can be made if an individual has experienced a chronic productive cough for three months running.
These three months must occur for two or more years. The usual course is to begins with a winter cough that gets better in the spring and summer only to return again come winter.
3: More advanced symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis are a cyanotic (bluish) color about the lips.
4: As your body works harder to move enough oxygen your heart will be seriously taxed and can become damaged. This heart damage may be seen through these next few symptoms.
5: Swelling of the legs and ankles which also may be blue.
6: Distended jugular veins in the neck.
7: Difficulty sleeping without two or three pillows or in a more serious case, sitting up in a recliner.

Doctors can test your lung function to see how much capacity you have lost. There are medicines on the market that can help you breath easier, both over the counter and prescription. But, regardless of your treatment, these are terminal diseases. And while not all cases of COPD are caused by smoking it is the leading causative factor. Nothing can help you more than to quit smoking.