Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, affects more than 12 million American adults.
The term COPD includes two types of lung conditions: emphysema and bronchitis.
Many people diagnosed with COPD have both emphysema and bronchitis. Together, the two reduce the amount of oxygen exchange in the lungs and thicken the lining of the airways. COPD is progressive and causes shortness of breath, wheezing, and chronic cough -- a persistent, phlegm-producing cough.
People with COPD can have varying...