Chronic Obstructive Pulmonay Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a type of obstructive lung disease characterized by long-term respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation.The main symptoms include shortness of breath and a cough which may or may not produce mucus. COPD progressively worsens with everyday activities such as walking or dressing becoming difficult.Many definitions of COPD in the past included chronic bronchitis and emphysema but these have never been included in GOLD report definitions. Emphysema is defined as enlarged airspaces (alveoli) whose walls break down resulting in permanent damage to the lung tissue, and is just one of the structural abnormalities that can limit airflow. The condition can exist without airflow limitation, and is seen to be the case in a significant minority. Chronic bronchitis is defined as a productive cough that is present for at least three months each year for two years but does not always result in airflow limitation although the risk of developing COPD is great.
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