Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a disease that occurs when the small airways in the lungs become damaged and narrow1. People with COPD may find it difficult to breathe in and out, which can make even the simplest of tasks such as walking up a hill or stairs a strain1.
The term COPD is used to describe three (3) conditions:
- Emphysema: where air gets trapped in the lungs making it difficult to take in enough air with each breath. A key sign is breathlessness1
- Chronic Bronchitis: where the airways become narrower causing symptoms such as cough with excess mucus production and inflammation1
- Chronic Asthma: a chronic condition where symptoms are variable and include narrowing and inflammation of the airways1
Each condition can occur separately, but many people can have a combination of these conditions. Your doctor may classify your COPD as mild, moderate or severe1.
There are several possible causes of COPD. These include:
- Smoking- This is the most common cause of COPD. Ex-smokers are still at risk, although less so than those who continue to smoke1
- Substances that irritate the lung- Exposure to dust, gas, or fumes, over a long period of time can cause COPD1
- Genetics- Some people may inherit the tendency to get COPD, even if they have never smoked or been exposed to irritants through home life or work1
COPD is a chronic long term condition that will not go away, COPD is likely to get worse over time. While there is no cure for COPD, there are a number of things you can do to manage symptoms and prevent further damage to help improve quality of life1:
- Stop smoking- This is the single most important step you can do for your lung health1
- Exercise regularly1
- Eat a healthy diet1
- Take your medicine(s) as prescribed1
- Try to avoid chest infections and colds1
- Seek help1
- Work with your doctor and other health professionals
Menarini Australia has identified, pursued and delivered treatment options to support clinicians in the management of COPD.
More information is available from the Lung Foundation Australia, however, if you have any questions or concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.
References: 1. Living well with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; 2018: 1-13
BRI-AU-1027 February 2019