Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for a number of lung diseases that prevent proper breathing. Three of the most common conditions are emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma that isn’t fully reversible. These conditions can occur separately or together. The main symptoms are breathlessness, chronic cough and sputum production. Cigarette smokers and ex-smokers are most at risk.

COPD used to be more common in men, but the disease is quite evenly spread across the sexes now that women and men smoke in equal numbers. There is no cure for COPD, and the damaged airways don’t regenerate. However, there are things you can do to slow progress of the disease, improve your symptoms, stay out of hospital and live longer

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