Our goal is to help you manage your disease effectively so you can live a full and active life.
What is COPD?
COPD is an acronym for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The term “chronic” refers to a condition which the patient has all the time. Obstructive refers to the fact that these patients have difficulty getting air out of their lungs. Pulmonary tells us the condition is related to the lungs. COPD typically refers to two conditions: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is common for patients with one condition to have a component of the other — a patient with chronic bronchitis will frequently also have emphysema. Because these conditions often coexist, it is simpler and less confusing to group them under the general diagnosis “COPD.”
What causes COPD?
Long-term exposure to irritants that damage the lungs is usually the cause of COPD. The most common cause of COPD is smoking. Somewhere between 15 and 30% of smokers will develop significant COPD. Other factors also play a role in which smokers will develop COPD including a family history of COPD, childhood infections, and exposure to other irritants like pollution. A genetic condition called Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency can also raise your risk for lung disease and other diseases.
Can COPD be cured?
COPD cannot be cured, but it is very treatable. Treatment aims to slow any further loss of lung function, correcting any reversible changes, and treating problems and symptoms of the disease. Early identification is a key as the earlier intervention can be implemented, the greater the likelihood of preventing severely debilitating disease.
Smoking Cessation Resources
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health,
National Cancer Institute, USA.gov: SmokeFree.GOV
American Heart Association
US National Library of Medicine – (recursos disponibles en Español)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Better Breathers Clubs – Sponsored by the American Lung Association
Call 1-800-LUNG-USA for a location near you