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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

Symptoms include:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Cough
  • Mucus (sputum) production
  • Wheezing

It’s caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions.

Here are some steps you can take to help prevent complications associated with COPD:

  • Quit smoking to help reduce your risk of heart disease and lung cancer.
  • Get an annual flu vaccination and regular vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia to reduce your risk of or prevent some infections.
  • Talk to your doctor if you feel sad or helpless or think that you may be experiencing depression.

If you’re a longtime smoker, these simple statements may not seem so simple, especially if you’ve tried quitting — once, twice or many times before. But keep trying to quit. It’s critical to find a tobacco cessation program that can help you quit for good. It’s your best chance for reducing damage to your lungs.


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