COPD is the most common breathing disease in America. It is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, in the form of chronic bronchitis or emphysema, or both. A common cause of both is smoking, but smoking is not necessarily the cause: secondary smoke and asthmatic allergies may play a part. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in America. As many as 24 million Americans may have the early stages of COPD and as many as half of them don't know it and have never been tested.
COPD inflames and closes the airways, is characterized by coughing and the build up of strangulating mucus (chronic bronchitis), lung air sac destruction (emphysema), has no cure, becomes progressively worse, and eventually kills its victims.
Spirometry testing is done to test breathing capacities in the case of COPD so doctors may prescribe medicines like Prednisone and Symbicort, etc. which reduce inflammation and help open airways. Lung X-rays are also used to pinpoint infections, which can cause fatal complications in COPD sufferers.