In Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary (or lung) Disease, “Chronic” means long term, “Obstructive” means breathing is partially blocked and “Pulmonary” means the lungs.

Cigarette smoking is one of the most important risk factors for COPD. Other risk factors include age, heredity, air pollution at work or in the environment and a history of childhood respiratory infections.

Hence, Chronic obstructive airway (or pulmonary) disease (COPD) refers to permanent lung damage, usually caused by smoking, in which there is an obstruction to air flow during exhalation (breathing out).

If a person (who is a smoker or was a smoker) has any of the following symptoms he may have some form of COPD.

  • A severe cough that continues to remain between colds.
  • Spitting up of mucus.
  • Shortness of breath on exertion.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Frequent colds.