Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease1. The main symptom of COPD is an inability to breathe in and out properly. This is also referred to as airflow obstruction. Airflow obstruction is caused by long-term damage to the lungs, usually as a result of smoking, which is the main cause of COPD. As the condition progresses, breathing in and out becomes increasingly difficult, and the patient’s physical ability to carry out normal tasks may be diminished. Symptoms can be exacerbated by air pollution, extremes of temperature, and viral or bacterial infections. There is no cure for COPD, and treatment concentrates on relieving the symptoms.