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Understanding COPD
(Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

COPD, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a long-term condition that makes it harder for air to flow into and out of the lungs. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are both conditions that are called COPD. Many patients with COPD will have elements of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

COPD is not asthma. Both asthma and COPD cause breathing problems. In asthma, medicines can help reduce the swelling around the airways so that breathing can return to normal. With COPD, there is damage to the lungs that is irreversible. Medicines can make breathing easier, but breathing does not return to normal.

The first sign of COPD may be a morning cough with mucus. Over time, symptoms can get worse. For example, you may develop shortness of breath during physical activity. This can lead to severe episodes of shortness of breath.

You and Your Healthcare Provider

Your healthcare team is an essential part of the treatment plan for you.



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