Study Information

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a group of lung diseases that make it hard to breathe and get worse over time. Normally, the airways and air sacs in your lungs are elastic or stretchy. When you breathe in, the airways bring air to the air sacs. The air sacs fill up with air, like a small balloon. When you breathe out, the air sacs deflate, and the air goes out. If you have COPD, less air flows in and out of your airways. When less air flows into your lungs, less oxygen gets into your body tissues.

Key Points

  • COPD is chronic. In other words, you live with it every day.
  • It is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time.
  • Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the most common types of COPD. You can be diagnosed with both of these, and this is also called COPD.
  • COPD is diagnosed by your physician after reviewing your medical history, performing a physical examination and reviewing your spirometry test results.
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