Currently affecting as many as 12 million Americans, COPD leads to destruction of the airway and alters the obstruction of the oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide.
As result, a COPD suffer will experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, ongoing cough often associated with phlegm, excessive mucus, wheezing and problems exhaling air.
1. Millions of People Have COPD and Don't Know It
COPD tends to occur later in life, and some may think that coughing more often or feeling short of breath is just a part of getting older. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 12 million Americans have a diagnosis of COPD, and another 12 million likely to have this condition and don’t know it.
If you have ongoing problems with your breathing or coughing, you should talk to your doctor and get tested, as these changes may not be due to age but underlying COPD. The sooner you start the treatment, the better will be your condition can be managed. COPD is currently the third leading cause of death in the US, killing more than 120,000 people every year.
ResourcesNational Library of Medicine (Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency)University of Maryland Medical Center (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (COPD: The More you Know, the Better for you and Your Loved Ones.)
COPD is a chronic lung disease that can cause difficulty breathing and fatigue. Learn about the early signs of COPD to see if you're at risk.