What is COPD?

5) What is COPD?

Conditions causing COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a term that is used to describe a mixture of lung conditions. These conditions include:

  • Chronic bronchitis which is a narrowing of the airway.
  • Emphysema which is due to damage to the delicate alveoli (air sacs).
  • A mix of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

However, people will have different symptoms and experiences of living with the condition because:

  • People with COPD can have mild to very severe disease.
  • Some people may experience mild symptoms which has little impact on their daily life.
  • Other people may have severe symptoms which affect or limit aspects of daily life.
  • It is possible to have severe disease but experience very few symptoms.
  • Though most people will have a mix of both conditions others may have only one condition. For example, some people may have emphysema only or chronic bronchitis only.

Common symptoms of COPD include:

  • Breathlessness.
  • Cough.
  • Wheeze.
  • Mucous production.