COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

It is also called emphysema or chronic bronchitis. It is a type of damage to the lungs caused mostly by smoking cigarettes.

COPD and other conditions can have the same symptoms.

COPD usually starts after age 40 and can make you feel short of breath. Sometimes even with simple chores, you may wheeze when you exert yourself.

You may also have a chronic cough, often with phlegm. When you get a cold, you may notice that it lasts longer than other people’s colds.

COPD is a chronic disease which slowly gets worse (progresses) over time. Quitting smoking slows down its progression.

COPD inhalers help you to:

  • Breathe better
  • Be more active
  • Stay out of hospital

It is important to know if the symptoms you are having are caused by COPD, so that you get the right treatment.

COPD symptoms can feel the same as symptoms of other health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, or less common lung conditions such as lung “fibrosis” (scarring).

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