Breathing: COPD

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What is COPD?

COPD is comprised predominantly of two major diseases: chronic bronchitis and emphysema.


Chronic Bronchitis


Chronic bronchitis is a chronic lung disease where the airways are chronically inflamed resulting in swelling as well as significant mucus production.


The definition of chronic bronchitis is when a person has a chronic cough that produces mucus for three months across two consecutive years.



Emphysema is the other major chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Emphysema develops oftentimes in people who are heavy smokers. The smoke causes irritation within the lung tissue causing destruction of the air sacs. As a result of this and its effects on the airways, causing them to lose elasticity, those with emphysema have problems getting oxygen into the blood, getting carbon dioxide out of the blood and often suffer from air trapping.


Emphysema’s common symptoms are shortness of breath and sometimes cough.