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  • Question 1/14

    Doctors can diagnose it with a test.

  • Answer 1/14

    Doctors can diagnose it with a test.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Spirometry is a simple breathing test that can find this lung disease. It can spot the problem even before your symptoms get bad. It measures how much air you can blow out of your lungs and how fast you can do it.

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) makes breathing tough and pushes your heart to work harder. You're more likely to get it if you:

    • Are over 40 and smoke or have ever smoked
    • Have long-term or heavy exposure to certain chemicals, fumes, or dust or other gunk in the air
    • Have inhaled a lot of secondhand smoke
    • Have the genetic condition known as alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Question 1/14

    There are two main diseases that cause COPD. 

  • Answer 1/14

    There are two main diseases that cause COPD. 

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Most people with the disease have both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. But you could have just one and still have COPD.

    With chronic bronchitis, the airways that lead to your lungs are inflamed, and over time their lining changes. This leads to a cough that won’t go away and too much mucus.

    Emphysema causes air sacs in your lungs to break down. When this happens, you have a hard time getting oxygen into your blood.

  • Question 1/14

    How many American adults have COPD?

  • Answer 1/14

    How many American adults have COPD?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Many people who have the disease probably don't know it. Experts think lots of cases of COPD aren't diagnosed.

  • Answer 1/14

    Why aren't more people diagnosed early on?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Because the disease takes time to get worse, you may not realize there’s a problem. Or you could blame your cough or lack of breath on getting older. You might also change what you do every day to avoid things that make it hard to breathe.

  • Question 1/14

    Smoking is the top cause.

  • Answer 1/14

    Smoking is the top cause.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of the disease. Most people who have it smoke or used to smoke. Still, many smokers never get the disease. And since there are other causes, a small number of people who get it have never touched tobacco.

  • Answer 1/14

    Which of the following is a symptom?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Early warning signs of COPD vary, but among the most common are:

    • Coughing up a lot of mucus or sputum from your lungs
    • Shortness of breath
    • A cough that won't go away

     

  • Question 1/14

    You can have COPD and asthma.

  • Answer 1/14

    You can have COPD and asthma.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    You can have both. But asthma usually begins at a younger age. COPD is often linked to older age and smoking.

    The symptoms can be a lot alike. But asthma symptoms -- wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing -- get set off by a certain trigger, like allergies or hard exercise. They also can get better with treatment. For people with COPD, lung damage gets worse over time.

  • Question 1/14

    Once you have COPD, you'll never feel better.

  • Answer 1/14

    Once you have COPD, you'll never feel better.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    There's no cure for the condition, but you can treat its symptoms and live better. A lot depends on how well your lungs are working. How well you follow your treatment program and how your body responds to it also make a difference.

    You can feel better, stay active, and slow how quickly the disease gets worse.

  • Question 1/14

    You need to watch what you eat when you have COPD.

  • Answer 1/14

    You need to watch what you eat when you have COPD.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    You can burn up to 10 times more calories just trying to breathe, compared with a person without COPD. If you’re overweight, your heart and lungs have to work even harder. If you’re underweight, you may be more likely to get health complications from illnesses. So it's important to get to a healthy weight and stay there. Make nutritious food choices to get started -- that can help you manage your disease better.

  • Question 1/14

    COPD is more common later in life.

  • Answer 1/14

    COPD is more common later in life.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Most people who've been diagnosed are over 45. The disease is most common in men 75 to 84 years old and in women 65 to 84. A genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency can cause it in young adults. Lots of people don't get diagnosed because they blame their breathing trouble on having another illness or being out of shape.

  • Question 1/14

    Stop smoking. It’s the best way to fight COPD.

  • Answer 1/14

    Stop smoking. It’s the best way to fight COPD.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Quit. It slows how quickly the disease gets worse. It also lowers your chances of getting COPD in the first place.

     

  • Question 1/14

    People with COPD need a flu vaccine every year.

  • Answer 1/14

    People with COPD need a flu vaccine every year.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    The flu can cause serious problems for people with the lung disease. COPD also makes you more likely to get lung infections like pneumonia. Talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated.

  • Answer 1/14

    Which is a treatment for COPD?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Pulmonary rehabilitation involves exercise, education about what you need to eat, and sometimes mental health care, like counseling. Your doctor may prescribe inhaler medicines. They relax your airways and make it easier to breathe. And if you have severe COPD, you may need extra oxygen.

  • Question 1/14

    If your symptoms suddenly get worse, it’s called:

  • Answer 1/14

    If your symptoms suddenly get worse, it’s called:

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Common warning signs are wheezing, worse coughing or shortness of breath, shallow or rapid breathing, a raised heart rate or temperature, and a change in the color of your mucus.

    People with COPD may have one or two exacerbations a year, and those tend to get worse over time. Talk to your doctor about a treatment plan that will help you feel your best.

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Sources | Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on June 16, 2017 Medically Reviewed on June 16, 2017

Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on
June 16, 2017

IMAGE PROVIDED BY:

Science Photo Library RF

 

SOURCES:

American Lung Association: "Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Fact Sheet," "Living With COPD: Nutrition."

American Thoracic Society: "What Are the Signs and Symptoms of COPD?" "Standards for the Diagnosis and Management of Patients with COPD."

CDC. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report , Aug. 2, 2002.

CDC. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Among Adults Aged 18 and Over in the United States, 1998–2009 , June 2011.

Cleveland Clinic: "Nutritional Guidelines for People with COPD."

COPD Foundation: "Exacerbations and How to Deal With Them," "What is COPD?"

Global Initiative for Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Lung Disease: "Pocket Guide."

International Primary Care Respiratory Group: "Early Diagnosis of COPD Does Help!"

National Guideline Clearinghouse: "Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Diagnosis and Management of Acute Exacerbations."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "What Is COPD"?

National Jewish Health: "COPD: Symptoms."

National Library of Medicine: "COPD."

New York State Department of Health: "Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease."

The University of Chicago Asthma & COPD Center: "All About COPD."

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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