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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) makes it hard for you to breathe. The two main types are chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The main cause of COPD is long-term exposure to substances that irritate and damage the lungs. This is usually cigarette smoke. Air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust can also cause it.

At first, COPD may cause no symptoms or only mild symptoms. As the disease gets worse, symptoms usually become more severe. They include
  • A cough that produces a lot of mucus
  • Shortness of breath, especially with physical activity
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
Doctors use lung function tests, imaging tests, and blood tests to diagnose COPD. There is no cure. Treatments may relieve symptoms. They include medicines, oxygen therapy, surgery, or a lung transplant. Quitting smoking is the most important step you can take to treat COPD.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


Ohio State is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as one of the nation's best hospitals in pulmonology, and Ohio State's Lung Center is the only comprehensive lung and pulmonary center in central Ohio. Schedule an appointment with Ohio State's lung experts. Call 614-293-4925.