Most people had not even heard of COPD until rather recently. It is not a new disease. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is not new but the label is. It is a new category basically of illnesses that people have been dealing with for ages. People are now starting to pay attention to it though because there are man commercials on TV about new drugs to treat it.
COPD is basically a category that has been created for diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. These diseases, in most instances, will produce a coughing up of mucus that is most often the first sign of COPD. Most individuals also experience difficulty breathing during daily tasks, yard work, exercise, or in some cases when they are doing something very simple. This loss of air can be a direct result of COPD and if you are experiencing this symptom it is advisable to see your doctor at once.
If you want to know what is happening with this illness it is important to understand how the lungs do all that they do first. When you breath in the air goes through your main airways all the way to small tubes at the end. When the air gets to the air sacs at the end they are supposed to inflate like balloons. You breathe in the springy little sacs will fill up and when you breathe out they deflate again.
In a person with COPD these airways and sacs become like stretched out rubber bands. They lose their shape and become floppy which makes them less likely to function fully. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is most commonly caused by cigarette smoking although other factors such as breathing in pollution and other chemicals or dust can also contribute to this illness.
Being unable to properly breath is uncomfortable and stressful. Thankfully there are some good treatments that make it easier to breathe. Many use a rescue inhaler to help them live each day. The best defense against this disease is to avoid it. You can avoid cigarettes by quitting the habit or never starting in the first place. There are also issues from chemicals that can be avoided best by safety equipment. Because there is no cure as of yet, avoidance of risk factors is your best bet.