Basic information | Respiratory diseases | COPD


With COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) the airways also become blocked because of inflammation but this is different to that seen in asthma. In addition, the breathing sacs or the alveoli may also be destroyed, something which is not seen in asthma. Both the transport of air through narrowed respiratory passages and the exchange of gases are disrupted to varying degrees. The most common cause of this illness is long term inhalation of smoke, usually from long term cigarette smoking.

This illness remains undiscovered for a long time as result of its slow development and the progress of the destructive process. It is difficult to make a distinction between the normal aging process with waning performance and illness. Typical indications of this illness include coughing, expectoration and shortness of breath during strenuous activity.