Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease, causing obstructed airflow in the lungs.
COPD causes the lungs to thicken, destroying the tissue where oxygen is exchanged. This causes less oxygen to get into the body’s tissues, making it harder to eliminate waste and carbon dioxide. As the disease progresses, shortness of breath worsens, making it harder to stay active.
According to the American Lung Association, COPD affects more than 16.4 million people, and more may have the disease without knowing it.
By knowing the causes and symptoms of COPD, you may be able to lower your risk and keep your lungs healthy.