Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) | ResMed
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Patients and Families > Diagnosis and treatment > Respiratory care > Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive long‐term lung disease that involves inflammation and thickening of the airways.¹ Over time the disease makes it more difficult to breathe because the airways are obstructed, restricting the flow of air in and out of the lungs.¹

When this happens less oxygen reaches the blood, and it becomes harder to get rid of the waste gas carbon dioxide.¹

COPD is made up of two chronic conditions: chronic bronchitis which is a persistent cough with mucus, and emphysema which is characterised by the destruction of lung tissue.¹

Causes of COPD

The main cause of COPD is tobacco smoking, with smokers at a higher risk of respiratory problems and mortality.

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COPD diagnosis & treatment

Your doctor will diagnose COPD based on your symptoms and medical history.

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