Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a chronic lung disease that makes it challenging to breathe or deliver much-needed oxygen throughout your body. COPD results from long-term exposure to irritating gases or breathing in particulates. Bronchitis and emphysema are the two most common contributing conditions that result in COPD. This disease is extremely uncomfortable and affects millions of Americans. It is the third-leading cause of disease-related deaths in the United States. However, COPD is preventable and, with the right care, is manageable.
COPD is not just a minor irritating condition that makes it difficult to catch your breath but can cause a variety of complications if it is not managed. Those who suffer from COPD are at an increased risk for:
COPD results from long-term exposure to harmful gases and particles combined with individual factors.
Early diagnosis and treatment, including smoking cessation support, is needed to slow the progression of symptoms and reduce flare-ups
Only about five to ten percent of people who get Valley fever will develop serious or long-term lung problems
It is the third-leading cause of disease-related deaths in the United States
It can be challenging to recognize the symptoms of COPD until the illness has already progressed into later stages. Shortness of breath can be brushed off as simply “getting older,” or out of shape, but this is an important symptom of lung disease that should not be overlooked. A few symptoms of COPD may include:
To improve your outcomes, you can manage symptoms and seek medical attention sooner to avoid worsening conditions. Knowing your risks is also important. Leading risk factors include: