COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Cardiology

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Email this page to a friend Print Facebook Twitter Google+ Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung disease. Having COPD makes it hard to breathe. There are two main forms of COPD: Chronic bronchitis, which involves a long-term cough with mucus Emphysema, which involves damage to the lungs over time Most people with COPD have a combination of both conditions. Causes Smoking is the main cause of COPD. The more a person smokes, the more likely that person will develop COPD. But some people smoke for years and never get COPD. In rare cases, nonsmokers who lack a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin can develop emphysema. Emphysema Other risk factors for COPD are: Exposure to certain gases or fumes in the workplace Exposure to heavy amounts of secondhand smoke and pollution Frequent use of a cooking fire without proper ventilation Symptoms Symptoms may include any of the following: Cough, with or without mucous Fatigue Many respiratory infections Shortness of breath (dyspnea) that gets worse with mild activity Trouble catching one's breath Wheezing Because the symptoms develop slowly, some people may not know that they have COPD.

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