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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.

Forest Fires and Lung Health

By Amy Henderson on 2014-07-08

Forest fires are often a concern in Canada, especially during dry, hot summers. People all over Canada may be affected by the smoke from forest fires. The Canadian Lung Association urges those with lung disease such as asthma and COPD to monitor their breathing and avoid exposure to smoke. If breathing problems develop, refer to your action plan or call your health-care provider.

What type of health effects can be caused by forest fire smoke?

For someone without lung problems, wood smoke can: