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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD )

Updated on April 9, 2016

Define

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases that block airflow and make breathing increasingly difficult.

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two main issues causing COPD, but COPD can also result from the damage caused by chronic bronchitis asthma. In all cases, respiratory lesions will eventually hinder the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs.

COPD is a leading cause of death worldwide. Most COPD is caused by long-term smoking and can be prevented by not smoking or quitting right after the start. Damage to the lungs can not be reversed, so treatment focuses on controlling symptoms and minimizing further damage.

The symptoms

In general , the symptoms of COPD do not appear until lung damage has occurred and it is often worse with time. People with COPD also have the ability to experience exacerbations , in which the symptoms suddenly worsen . Plus, signs and symptoms of COPD can vary , depending on the most prominent lung disease . It also may have more of these symptoms at once .

Treatments and drugs

No specific cure for COPD , and irreversible lung damage . But COPD treatments can control symptoms , reduce the risk of complications and exacerbations , and improve performance in life

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