Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

What is COPD?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive condition characterized by airflow obstruction, where the ability to empty air out of the lungs is impaired. COPD includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis or a combination of both conditions. Asthma is also a disease characterized by airflow obstruction, but it is generally not considered to be a part of COPD. Asthma is more reversible than COPD. Some patients with COPD may also have some degree of asthma.

Not all patients with COPD are alike and symptoms vary a great deal. While this is a chronic condition and will never go away, there are treatments available that help to control the symptoms and improve lung function.

What causes COPD?

The most important cause of COPD is cigarette smoking. Exposure to certain ga (More)


Understanding COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

  • COPD Considerations for Cold Weather
  • Emphysema Treatment
  • Emphysema: Stages and Life Expectancy
  • Talking with Your Doctor about COPD
  • Talking with Your Doctor about End-of-Life Issues
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (ADAM)
  • COPD - Easy-to-Read (OSU Patient Education Pamphlet)
  • COPD (Medline Plus)
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) - Interactive Tutorial (Patient Education Institute)
  • (More)

  • Commonly Asked Questions


    View All Q&As

  • Can a COPD Patient Recover Fully from an E. Coli Infection in the Lungs?
  • Can I Live in a High Altitude City with COPD?
  • Does PFT Testing Determine Disease Progression in Smokers?
  • How Can a Non-Smoker have Emphysema?
  • How Can I Communicate with My Doctors?
  • How Can I Control COPD?
  • How Do Cortisone and Prednisone Differ?
  • How Do You Measure Lung Health?
  • How Does COPD Cause Death?
  • I'm Active, So Why Was I Diagnosed with COPD?
  • (More)

  • Additional Information

  • Symptoms and Tests
  • Treatment
  • Complications
  • The Body
  • Research Studies
  • Info by Age, Ethnicity, Sex
  • Meet Our Experts

    Last Updated: Mar 07, 2014