...I had COPD.
 

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COPD Resources  ---
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> What is COPD?
> COPD Facts
> Causes of COPD
> Diagnosing COPD
> COPD vs. Asthma
> The Lungs
> Current Treatments
> Patient Information

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What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is an umbrella term for two respiratory illnesses -- chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema.[1] There are 16 million Americans who have been diagnosed with COPD, of whom 14 million have chronic bronchitis and 2 million have emphysema.[2]

COPD results primarily from smoking tobacco.[3] Years of smoking cause damage to the airways in the lungs. This lung damage continues to progress with the use of tobacco.[4] Average current and former smokers will likely not notice or acknowledge symptoms for several years. Typically, they will begin noticing the first symptoms of shortness of breath when they reach their 40s.[6] However, earlier signs of COPD are often present. These include chronic cough and increased mucus production. Recognizing these early signs is important because lifestyle modifications, such as smoking cessation and avoiding respiratory irritants, can be made to prevent additional damage to the airways.[7]

In technical terms, COPD is a slowly progressive disease that is characterized by a decrease in the ability of the lungs to maintain the body's oxygen supply and remove carbon dioxide.[8] As a result of this decrease in lung function, COPDpatients alter their lifestyles because they become short of breath after minimal exertion. For example, instead of climbing a flight of stairs COPD patients take the elevator. Physical activities also take longer to complete. Lawn mowing that a COPD patient might have finished in 40 minutes only a year ago may now take an hour to do.

Find out more by viewing the COPD Resources available in the above menu.  ---
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