What Is COPD?
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. “Progressive” means the disease gets worse over time.
COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms.
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust, also may contribute to COPD.
If you have been diagnosed with COPD, there are things you can do to help you feel better. Although there is no cure for COPD yet, treatments and lifestyle changes can help you stay active and slow the progress of the disease.