Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. COPD refers to two lung diseases, emphysema, and chronic bronchitis and is an obstruction to breathing that decreases air exchange in the lungs. Emphysema does not always coexist with chronic bronchitis. Asthma, Pulmonary Fibrosis, or Pulmonary Hypertension is not diagnosed as COPD. Some people may think they simply have a "smoker's cough" or that breathlessness is just a part of getting older. It may be nothing serious or it may be an early symptom of COPD. A good idea is to get these symptoms checked out by a Physician. When a patient is diagnosed with COPD, they have already lost part of their lung function. If COPD is diagnosed and treated early better results will occur with this chronic disease. Healthy airways have elastic air sacs in the lungs, making it easy for air to move in and out quickly. Chronic inflammation can be caused by exposure to smoke and can cause the lungs to thicken and lose their elasticity. The airways cannot widen when more air is needed, and thick mucus forms. This typically causes coughing that may be associated with mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. The educational research for COPD included websites from the American Lung Association, National Institute of Aging, National Asthma Foundation, National Institute of Health, course material, and self-knowledge of COPD from years of critical care experience. COPD is also a personal morbidly that I live with every day, and had to relocate to a milder climate to prevent advancement of mild COPD. The personal impact of COPD can be devastating. The lack of activity intolerance because of shortness of breath (SOB) can be in varying degrees depending on what stage the patient currently possesses, according to the American Lung Association (ALA) the four stages of COPD: * Stage One – Mild COPD
* Chronic cough with some mucus production...
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