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The Unfun Balloon

Blowing up a balloon is a good indicator of lung health. So if you haven't already, take the test.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung diseases where people have difficulty breathing because their airways have been narrowed. It includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The Lung Association is committed to supporting those affected by this progressive but treatable disease to live their best life. Here you can find the ‘need to know’ info on COPD, including what causes flare-ups, treatment and management.

Facts and FAQs

COPD IS SHORT FOR chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a common lung condition that includes two lung diseases – chronic bronchitis


DON’T SMOKE. If you have never smoked, don’t start. Smoking is the number one cause of COPD. The most important way to prevent COPD is not to smoke. If you already smoke, consider quitting.

Symptoms and diagnosis

PEOPLE WITH COPD usually have one or more of these symptoms: a cough that lasts a long time, cough with mucus, feeling short of breath

Risk and complications

A COPD FLARE-UP or lung attack (exacerbation) happens when symptoms get worse or when new symptoms develop. COPD flare-ups are caused by:

Treatment and medication

COPD CAN’T BE CURED, but it can be treated. Early diagnosis, lifestyle changes and appropriate drug treatments can help you lead a normal and active life, feel better and stay out of hospital.

Management and support

ALTHOUGH THERE IS no cure for COPD, there are many ways to help you manage it. COPD severity ranges from mild to very severe. What is needed to manage COPD is different from one