Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung disease that causes airflow obstruction, and includes emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis.
Emphysema is the irreversible destruction of lung tissue or lung sacs (alveoli). Symptoms can include shortness of breath and cough. It usually results in decreased tolerance of everyday activities, such as bathing, grooming, and walking.
Chronic bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes in your lungs. Symptoms can include increased shortness of breath, chronic cough, and increased mucus production. It is usually characterized by a chronic, productive cough for most days of three months of two consecutive years.
Susan Bailey, BS, RRT, and supervisor of Pulmonary Services at East Jefferson General Hospital can be contacted at 504-780-5701 with questions about this topic or other questions about pulmonary health.