COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: The top five questions (and answers) from The Lung Association’s Lung Health Helpline

By Amy Henderson on 2015-11-18

1. I’ve just been diagnosed with COPD. What does that mean?

COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is largely caused by smoking, but it can also be caused by second-hand smoke, toxins in the environment that you breathe in, and genetics.

COPD develops over time. In most cases, it is diagnosed in people over 40 years of age. Someone with COPD may not realize they are becoming more short of breath until it becomes very hard to do simple tasks like walking up stairs.

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