COPD is often caused by prolonged exposure to irritants that damage the lungs and airways. In the United States, cigarette smoke is the leading cause. A pipe, cigarette, and other types of tobacco smoke can also cause COPD, especially if you inhale them. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes blockage of airflow from the lungs.
Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, mucus (sputum) production, and wheezing. It is usually due to prolonged exposure to irritating gases or particles, most often from cigarette smoke. People with COPD have a higher risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer, and a variety of other conditions. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) occurs when the lungs and airways become damaged and inflamed.
Most cases of COPD are related to smoking or inhalation of secondhand smoke. However, you can have COPD without smoking. Other factors may also increase the likelihood of developing these lung diseases. COPD is most often caused by smoking.
Over time, breathing tobacco smoke irritates the airways and destroys the elastic fibers in the lungs. A rare genetic condition called alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency makes people very susceptible to developing COPD at a young age. Most people who have COPD have both emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but the severity of each condition varies from person to person. Severe COPD can cause other symptoms, such as swelling in the ankles, feet, or legs, weight loss, and decreased muscle endurance.
Called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), this group of lifelong ailments includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and severe asthma that does not respond to treatment (called refractory asthma). In up to 5 percent of people with COPD, the cause is a genetic disorder that involves a deficiency of a protein called alpha-1-antitrypsin. If you have COPD, you may also have colds or other respiratory infections, such as the flu or the flu. COPD usually develops due to long-term damage to the lungs from inhalation of a harmful substance, usually cigarette smoke, as well as smoke from other sources and air pollution.
COPD is the result of damage to the lungs from cigarette smoking or inhaling second-hand smoke or other lung irritants such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust. COPD can cause a cough that produces large amounts of a viscous substance called mucus, wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, and other symptoms. This form of COPD is caused by a genetic (inherited) condition that affects the body's ability to make a protein (alpha) that protects the lungs. People with COPD are also likely to experience episodes called exacerbations, during which their symptoms get worse than usual on a day-to-day basis and persist for at least several days.
COPD is a major cause of disability and is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Surgery is reserved for severe COPD or when other treatments have failed, which is more likely when you have a severe form of emphysema. With proper treatment, most people with COPD can achieve good symptom control and a good quality of life, as well as reduce the risk of other associated conditions. For adults with COPD related to AAT deficiency, treatment options include those used for people with more common types of COPD.
If your COPD is more severe or if your symptoms flare up frequently, your doctor may prescribe a combination of medicines that include a bronchodilator and an inhaled steroid. .