What is COPD?

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and refers to a disorder whereby permanent or temporary narrowing of small bronchi occurs, in which forced expiratory flow is slowed, often called emphysema or bronchitis.

What causes COPD?

Most cases of COPD occur as a result of long-term exposure to lung irritants that damage the lungs and the airways. In the United States, the most common irritant that causes COPD is cigarette or tobacco smoke. Breathing in secondhand smoke, air pollution, and chemical fumes or dust from the environment or workplace also can contribute to COPD.

How is COPD treated?

Reducing the intake of lung irritants (i.e. quitting smoking) is the best way to reverse the effects of COPD. Bronchodilators are a method of treatment that relaxes the muscles around your airways. Other medicinal treatment includes steroid treatment, oxygen therapy, and surgery.

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