Lung conditions – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – Better Health Channel
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for a number of lung diseases that prevent proper breathing. Three of the most common conditions include emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma that isn’t fully reversible. Cigarette smokers and ex-smokers are most at risk.
COPD is a progressive illness, meaning it has several stages of severity. It can often be several years before symptoms reach a level that will make the sufferer go to the GP. Symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath are often attributed to getting older.
People with severe COPD may need their homes adapted, a carer to help with everyday tasks and portable oxygen.