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What is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung disease mainly caused by smoking. You can also get it from long-term exposure to air pollution, dust, and chemical fumes. It causes the airways in your lungs to inflame and thicken.

You’ll have trouble breathing and cough often, or you’ll cough up mucus. You’ll probably wheeze a lot, and you could feel tired all the time. Your lips or fingernails might turn blue because of a lack of oxygen.

SOURCES:

Albert Rizzo, MD, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, DE.                                                                    

American Lung Association: “COPD: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment,” “COPD Treatment Options,” “Managing Your COPD Medications,” “Palliative Care and COPD.”

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease: “Pocket Guide to COPD Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is COPD?” “How Is COPD Treated?”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on June 16, 2017

SOURCES:

Albert Rizzo, MD, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine, Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, DE.                                                                    

American Lung Association: “COPD: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment,” “COPD Treatment Options,” “Managing Your COPD Medications,” “Palliative Care and COPD.”

Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease: “Pocket Guide to COPD Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What Is COPD?” “How Is COPD Treated?”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on June 16, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What are the four stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the symptoms of each?

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