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, and wheezing. It’s typically 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.
There are two conditions most commonly associated with COPD; Emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema is the destruction of the alveoli on the bronchioles due to exposure to irritating gases/smoke. Chronic bronchitis is the inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes.