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COPD is short for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a common lung condition that includes two lung diseases – chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Currently, more than 900,000 Ontarians live with it. COPD makes it difficult to move air in and out of the lungs, which makes breathing a struggle.

This condition develops over time. In most cases, it is diagnosed in people over 40 years of age. Someone with COPD may not realize that they are becoming more short of breath when doing simple tasks like walking up the stairs and getting dressed.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can’t be cured, but it can be treated. Early diagnosis, lifestyle changes and appropriate treatment can help you feel better and stay out of hospital.

Quitting smoking is the most important step. Quitting smoking helps reduce your health risks even if you already have COPD. In fact, quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to feel better and slow down the disease’s rate of progression. It will get worse faster if you continue to smoke.

FAQs

I AM TOO SHORT OF BREATH to exercise. Wouldn’t exercise only make my COPD worse? A common symptom of COPD is to feel short of breath when you exercise.

Types

COPD INCLUDES BOTH chronic bronchitis and emphysema. With chronic bronchitis, your airways become swollen and can be filled with mucus, which can make you cough,

Causes

IN 80-90% OF CASES, COPD is caused by smoking. Some non-smokers can also get COPD. Other causes of COPD include: Genetic reasons (e.g., alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency)