Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease:

What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes restricted movement of air from the lungs. Manifestations incorporate breathing trouble, cough, bodily fluid (sputum) creation and wheezing. It's commonly brought about by long haul openness to irritating gases or regularly from tobacco smoke. Individuals with COPD are at far greater danger of creating coronary illness, cellular breakdown in the lungs and an assortment of different conditions.

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most normal conditions that add to COPD. These two conditions normally happen together and can shift in seriousness among people with COPD.

  • Chronic bronchitis

It is inflammation of the coating of the bronchial tubes, which convey air to and from the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs. It's described by day by day cough and bodily fluid (sputum) creation.

  • Emphysema

It is a condition wherein the alveoli toward the finish of the littlest air entries (bronchioles) of the lungs are obliterated because of harming openness to tobacco smoke and other aggravating gases and particulate matter.

Indications of COPD

COPD side effects regularly don't show up until huge lung harm has happened, and they as a rule deteriorate over the long haul, especially if smoking openness proceeds.

Signs and side effects of COPD may include:

  • Windedness, particularly during proactive tasks
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightening
  • A chronic cough that may deliver bodily fluid (sputum) that might be clear, white, yellow or greenish
  • Continuous respiratory contaminations
  • Absence of energy to perform any activity
  • Unintended weight reduction (in later stages)

Individuals with COPD are likewise prone to encounter scenes called intensifications, during which their manifestations become more awful than the typical everyday variety and endure for in any event a few days.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD makes breathing difficult for the 16 million Americans who have this disease. Millions more people suffer from COPD, but have not been diagnosed and are not being treated. Although there is no cure for COPD, it can be treated.


Long-term exposure to things that irritate your lungs is the most common cause. In the U.S., that’s cigarette, pipe, or other types of tobacco smoke. If you hang around other smokers and breathe in a lot of secondhand smoke, that can play a role, too. Your odds also go up if you smoke and have asthma. If you smoke and have COPD, it tends to get worse faster. You might also develop this condition if you’ve been exposed to things like dust, air pollution, or certain chemicals for long periods of time.

Your age can make COPD more likely. It develops slowly over the years, so most people are at least 40 when symptoms begin. It’s rare, but your genes could put you at risk for COPD. If you lack a protein called alpha 1 antitrypsin (AAT), you may be more likely to get it.


COPD symptoms often don't appear until significant lung damage has occurred, and they usually worsen over time, particularly if smoking exposure continues.

Signs and symptoms of COPD may include:

  • Shortness of breath, especially during physical activities
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • A chronic cough that may produce mucus (sputum) that may be clear, white, yellow or greenish
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Lack of energy
  • Unintended weight loss (in later stages)
  • Swelling in ankles, feet or legs

People with COPD are also likely to experience episodes called exacerbations, during which their symptoms become worse than the usual day-to-day variation and persist for at least several days.


Providers use a simple test called spirometry to see how well your lungs work. For this test, you blow air into a tube attached to a machine. This lung function test measures how much air you can breathe out and how fast you can do it.

Your provider may also want to run a few other tests, such as:

  • Pulse oximetry: This test measures the oxygen in your blood.
  • Arterial blood gases (ABGs): These tests check your oxygen and carbon dioxide levels.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG): This test checks heart function and rules out heart disease as a cause of shortness of breath.
  • Chest X-ray or chest CT scan: Imaging tests look for lung changes that COPD causes.
  • Exercise testing: Your provider uses this to determine if the oxygen level in your blood drops when you exercise.

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