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Over 32 million Americans suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (also known as COPD). COPD is a progressive lung disease without a cure.
COPD is most commonly the result of smoking or exposure to air pollution, fumes or inhaled irritants. This disease progresses more quickly in smokers compared to non-smokers. It can be associated with chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
People who suffer from COPD experience symptoms differently. For some, it might be part of everyday life, such as a constant cough, shortness of breathe, difficulty catching your breathe, however it’s a progressive disease, and symptoms will progressively get worse if you don’t start treatments. Some of the most common COPD symptoms include:
Traditional treatments for COPD vary, depending on the severity of the disease, but they can include supplemental oxygen, pulmonary rehabilitation or medications. Advanced stages often require intubation and use of a ventilator.